We offer one of the first propulsion systems suitable for small satellites, made possible by our non-toxic, non-volatile propellant that's safe for rideshare launches; our modular, custom designs; and our unique batch manufacturing process that results in lower costs for our customers.
Similar to traditional ion engines, our systems produce thrust using electric fields to accelerate ions. Ions leave the thrusters through small holes in the extractor grids over each chip, and propel the spacecraft in the opposite direction.
Our thrust-producing ions are supplied from our ionic liquid propellant---a safe, non-toxic liquid salt that we store in passive plastic tanks. This novel source of ions is referred to as an ionic liquid ion source, and allows us to get rid of big ionization chambers, pressurized tanks, bulky valves, and external cathodes for neutralization. The result? Higher thrust-to-mass, higher thrust-to-volume, and lower power than today's ion engines, not to mention the ability to qualify for rideshare launches.
Our systems comprise individual thruster chips that can be positioned anywhere, in any number on the satellite. We can accommodate any shape or propulsion requirement.
But perhaps the biggest difference is in our manufacturing process. We use low-cost, hands-off batch manufacturing processes. If space is truly going to be accessible to everyone, we can't keep manufacturing propulsion systems like jewelry. Today, we make 44 thruster chips in one run.
Watch this video of our thrusters rotating a magnetically-levitated CubeSat in a vacuum chamber.