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COMHET: A new laboratory for the space propulsion of tomorrow

Confirming its contribution to research excellence in France and to the development of tomorrow's space technologies, École Polytechnique is participating alongside CNRS and Safran Electronics & Defense in the creation of a joint laboratory, COMHET, dedicated to improving space thruster technologies.
COMHET: A new laboratory for the space propulsion of tomorrow
16 Nov. 2023
Research, Plasmas, LPP

École Polytechnique, CNRS and Safran Electronics & Defense have joined forces to develop state-of-the-art electric thrusters for satellites in a new joint laboratory for the study of Hall Effect Thrusters (COMHET).

Building on several years' rich collaboration between the three players at the Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas (LPP - CNRS/École Polytechnique - Institut Polytechnique de Paris / Sorbonne University), world-renowned for its work in this field, COMHET aims to improve Hall effect thruster technologies.

"This new collaboration with Safran Spacecraft Propulsion and the CNRS will strengthen the already well-established influence and excellence of research from our Plasma Physics Laboratory in the space field," said Laura Chaubard, Director General and Acting President of École Polytechnique.

"By participating in the creation of the COMHET joint laboratory, which will also benefit from the support of the Defense Innovation Agency (AID), X is reaffirming its mission to contribute to the country's scientific and technological sovereignty," she added."

Fundamental research on plasmas and their applications to space propulsion is also being carried out by laboratories at École Polytechnique and the CNRS.

Several École Polytechnique laboratories are directly involved in cosmic research, while a sponsorship agreement with Thales Alenia Space and Ariane Group, which began in July 2019, aims to develop space education and support projects at the Student Space Center. The entrepreneurial ecosystem at l'X has also led to the success of several space-related start-ups.