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Close Manufacturing Bipropellant Tanks


Bipropellant Tank Overview

Management, control and delivery of bipropellant using surface tension tanks.


As the name implies, surface tension tanks exploit the surface tension properties of the propellant to control, manage and deliver gas-free oxidiser or fuel, especially under micro-g conditions. This advanced technology, maximises the use of the available propellant, thereby minimising residuals and enabling the life of geostationary satellites to be increased by up to 15 years and beyond.

Hydrazine bladder tank
Bipropellant Surface Tension Tank

2nd Generation Surface Tension Tank

The 2nd generation of surface tension tank was developed exclusively for bipropellant propulsion systems. This generation includes the space qualified tank models OST 21-0, 22-X, 23-0 and 24-0.


The propellant management device is common to a variety of different propellant tank geometries. The main feature of the tank is a Propellant Refillable Reservoir (PRR) for larger quantities of propellant to support high acceleration station keeping manoeuvres.


Replenishment of the PRR is performed by highly efficient Propellant Acquisition Vanes (PAV) within a short period of time and in low acceleration phases.


Special mesh screens ensure that only gas free propellant is admitted to the propellant outlet.


Main Features

The main features of the bipropellant surface tension tank are:

1. Propellant Acquisition Vanes
2. Propellant refillable reservoir
3. Upper screen
4. Lower screen
5. Propellant port
6. Venting tube
7. Gas port


Bremen Production Centre

Surface tension propellant tanks, as well a bladder tanks, are designed, developed and produced at our dedicated tank production centre in Bremen, north Germany. Here. the Bremen Production Centre has been producing surface tension propellant tanks for over 40 years. During that time, the centre has mastered and refined the essential technologies necessary for reliable and highly efficient propellant tanks, propellant management systems and propellant acquisition devices. The centre is now the European leader for the supply of surface tension propellant tanks for satellites, spacecraft, orbital platforms, interplanetary vehicles, space probes and re-entry vehicles.