Accion Systems’ Natalya Bailey Named To MIT Technology Review’s 2018 Innovators Under 35 List

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Accion Systems’ Natalya Bailey Named To MIT Technology Review’s 2018 Innovators Under 35 List

BOSTON – June 27, 2018 – Today, Accion Systems announced that CEO and Co-founder Natalya Bailey, Ph.D. has been named to MIT Technology Review’s prestigious annual list of Innovators Under 35 as an Entreprneur. For over a decade, the global media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world.

Bailey earned her doctorate in space propulsion at MIT in 2014 where she helped invent the first working prototype of an engine for small satellites that made use of liquid ion propulsion technology. This research became the foundation for Accion Systems, the space propulsion company she co-founded with fellow MIT graduate Louis Perna. The core technology enables small satellites to stay on orbit longer, avoid collisions with debris, and reach new orbits or even other planets and asteroids. Accion's thrusters also have significant safety, manufacturing, cost and size advantages over traditional systems.

“It’s an honor to be included in the Innovators Under 35 list,” said Bailey. “It’s an exciting time for the new space industry, and I’m extremely proud of Accion's role in rewriting the rules for in-space propulsion.”

Gideon Lichfield, editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review, said: “MIT Technology Review inherently focuses on technology first – the breakthroughs and their potential to disrupt our lives. Our annual Innovators Under 35 list is a chance for us to honor the outstanding people behind those technologies. We hope these profiles offer a glimpse into what the face of technology looks like today as well as in the future.”

Learn more about this year’s honorees on the MIT Technology Review website here and in the July/August print magazine, which will hit newsstands worldwide on July 3. The honorees are also invited to appear in person at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference, MIT Technology Review’s flagship event exploring future trends and technologies that will impact the global economy, happening September 11-14, 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

About Accion Systems

Accion Systems develops advanced satellite propulsion systems for the space industry.  Accion’s in-space propulsion technologies optimize scalability, performance and efficiency.  Accion’s flagship product, TILE, uses proprietary ion electrospray thrusters, bringing electric propulsion to satellites of all sizes and redefining in-space capabilities.  Accion Systems was founded in 2014 by Natalya Bailey and Louis Perna and is based in Boston, MA. For more information, please visit www.accion-systems.com or follow the company @AccionSystems

 

About MIT Technology Review

Founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1899, MIT Technology Review is a world-renowned, independent media company whose insight, analysis, reviews, interviews and live events explain the commercial, social and political impact of new technologies. MIT Technology Review derives its authority from the world’s foremost technology institution and from its editors’ deep technical knowledge, capacity to see technologies in their broadest context, and unequaled access to leading innovators and researchers. MIT Technology Review’s mission is to bring about better-informed and more conscious decisions about technology through authoritative, influential and trustworthy journalism. Subscribe. Follow: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram.

 

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Media Contact for Accion Systems:

Tim Smith

Element PR for Accion Systems

tsmith@elementpr.com

415-350-3024

 

Media Contact for MIT Technology Review:

Meredith Chiricosta

BIGfish Communications for MIT Technology Review

press@technologyreview.com

617-713-3800

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Irvine CubeSat STEM Program: Take A Bow!

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Irvine CubeSat STEM Program: Take A Bow!

Of the four payloads headed into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) on Friday, June 22nd, one comes from a very special place. Simply named IRVINE 01, this satellite belongs to the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program of Irvine, CA., an organization of over one hundred student members from six public high schools. The program collectively assembled, tested, and is about to launch their first solar powered CubeSat.

For the past several years, Accion Systems’ founders Natalya Bailey and Louis Perna have been mentoring the students of the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program on satellite propulsion systems. They were so involved that the Irvine Program selected Accion System’s revolutionary in-space propulsion system TILE 50 and integrated it into the design of the CubeSat system. It was an ideal choice because the TILE 50 is small, analog, and has just the right amount of capability for a CubeSat.  

The mission of the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program is one that is near and dear to the Accion team’s heart: “Supporting efforts and inspiring students to get excited about STEM and space technology is an exercise in ‘paying it forward’ for all of us,” says CEO Natalya Bailey. “We each had a person or a moment that inspired us to push the boundaries of what was possible in space, and we are so excited to be able to provide that to the next generation.”

The Irvine CubeSat STEM Program is a joint educational endeavor to teach, train and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals. The students’ main objective is to assemble, test and launch a nano-satellite into LEO. Aboard IRVINE 01 has a low-resolution camera that will take pictures of Venus, stars and other celestial objects. Data from these images can be used to calculate distances to stars and determine pointing accuracy and satellite stability.

Lead Test & Customer Engineer David Tovani was tapped to head the integration efforts as the students, mentors and supporters in Irvine pulled together their inaugural satellite. “We are inspired by what these kids are doing and couldn’t be more supportive of the organization’s mission,” says Tovani. “For Accion, this was the perfect opportunity to test out our design, manufacturing processes, delivery systems for flight hardware, and customer integration management.”

Our mission is to develop advanced technologies for the space industry; specifically by pioneering high-quality, affordable in-space propulsion systems. This launch will be Accion’s first hardware launch into space. The hardware has been tested before - many times on the ground and twice when our co-founders were at MIT - but this is a big first for Accion.

In fact, the whole mission is part of a new movement in the space industry. Known as “New Space”, the movement of young, entrepreneurial aerospace companies around the world lowering barriers to entry for missions into space is growing. The launch, organized by Rocket Lab, is a prime example of New Space philosophy ushering in a new era of unprecedented access to space. We can think of no better manifestation of New Space than the fact that a group of passionate, motivated high school students are putting a satellite into outer space this weekend.

We encourage you to follow the progress of this remarkable group of young people - led by co-founders Kain Sosa and Dr. Brent Freeze. The best way to stay up to date on their progress is https://www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream/. You can follow Irvine CubeSat STEM Program through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  And if you are so inclined, you can financially support their efforts here.

Accion will continue to work with  Irvine CubeSat STEM Program for future satellite launches in conjunctions with other demo and commercial projects. Stay tuned for updates on IRVINE 02, which is currently scheduled to launch later in 2018.

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Accion Systems and York Space Systems to Develop Standardized Propulsion System For York Spacecraft Platform

Accion Will Be a York Space Systems Preferred Provider

AUGUST 7, 2017 -- BOSTON -- Accion Systems and York Space Systems announced today that they have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on a standardized propulsion system for future use with York Space Systems’ spacecraft platform.  As part of the intended partnership, Accion Systems will become a preferred provider of standardized propulsion systems, providing York’s customers with state-of-the-art ion engine systems for their spacecraft missions.

“We are thrilled to be working with York Space Systems, one of the most exciting manufacturers of satellites today,” said Natalya Bailey, CEO of Accion Systems.  “By leveraging our scalable electric propulsion systems, York’s customers will be able to expand the capabilities and extend the life of each mission, helping create a new standard for what’s achievable in commercial and government space.”

Accion Systems has developed a unique in-space propulsion system, based on a quarter-sized thruster chip, that is scalable from nanosatellites to larger satellites. These engines help satellites perform mission-critical orbital maneuvers. Unlike other ion engines, Accion’s thrust-producing ions are supplied from ionic liquid propellant — a safe, non-toxic liquid salt. This novel source of ions allows Accion to avoid the use of large ionization chambers, pressurized tanks, bulky valves, and external cathodes, significantly reducing its propulsion systems’ size without sacrificing performance, power or reliability.

“York provides commercial, government and international customers pursuing a variety of space missions with state of the art, industrial grade spacecraft at a price point an order of magnitude below our competitors,” said Dirk Wallinger, CEO of York Space Systems.  “With Accion onboard, we will continue to lead by ensuring our customers’ satellites are equipped with even lighter, more efficient and more powerful spacecraft propulsion engines.  Accion is widely acknowledged to have developed some of the very best in-space technology on the market today.  With Accion Systems as a valued partner, York Space Systems will make space exploration even more accessible, affordable and efficient than ever before.”

York designs and produces industrial grade satellites, leveraging the most advanced manufacturing technology in the US, that can be delivered to customers within one month of ordering.  With numerous customer platforms under contract, York will be able to produce up to 200 satellites per year, rapidly bringing purpose-built satellites to the entrepreneur and satellite constellation operator. 

About Accion Systems

Accion Systems develops advanced satellite propulsion systems for the space industry.  Accion’s in-space propulsion technologies optimize scalability, performance and efficiency.  Accion’s flagship product, TILE, uses proprietary ion electrospray thrusters, bringing electric propulsion to satellites of all sizes and redefining in-space capabilities.  Accion Systems was founded in 2014 by two MIT engineers, Natalya Bailey and Louis Perna, and is based in Boston, MA.  For more information, please visit www.accion-systems.com or follow the company @AccionSystems

About York Space Systems

York Space Systems is an innovative American aerospace company specializing in small and medium class spacecraft based in Denver, CO. The company is entering the production phase of their S-Class platform, which leverages proprietary design and manufacturing processes to reduce the production cost by an order of magnitude. The S-Class platform is a 3-axis stabilized spacecraft capable of supporting 85-kg instrument payloads with up to 100 W of Orbit Average Power (OAP), 1,400 W Peak (Standard), or 3,000 W Peak (Enhanced) with one week delivery times on inventory.

Designed for mass manufacture and intended for constellations, the S-Class supports a wide range of missions including earth observation and communication. It is capable of steady state operation in any orbit inclination and orientation without redesign. The platform form factor can leverage existing ride-share opportunities on ESPA, and can be launched on any of the numerous dedicated small launch vehicles in development.  For more information, visit http://www.YorkSpaceSystems.com

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Accion Systems Adds Space and Defense Industry Expert to Executive Team

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Accion Systems Adds Space and Defense Industry Expert to Executive Team

Accion Systems today announced that Dr. Teresa Segura has joined the company as Vice President of Business Development and Strategy. Dr. Segura will lead corporate strategy, sales, and partnerships at Accion, a developer of advanced satellite propulsion systems for the space industry.

Dr. Segura’s career has spanned the spectrum of the science, defense and telecommunications sectors of the space industry.  Prior to joining Accion, Dr. Segura provided consulting in sales, marketing, and corporate development for various companies around the industry. Previously, Dr. Segura was director of marketing and sales for Space Systems Loral (SSL) a full-service provider of communications satellites and space systems. In that role, she was responsible for the development and execution of marketing and sales strategies of the company’s satellite systems in Asia and the Americas, assisting customers in performing mission engineering trades and payload suitability studies for their satellite telecommunications businesses. 

“Dr. Segura’s depth of experience successfully leading business development and sales organizations within the science, defense and telecommunications sectors will be a huge asset to Accion as we position ourselves for our next phase of growth,” said Natalya Bailey, CEO of Accion Systems. “We are thrilled to have her join the Accion team.”.  

Before joining SSL, Dr. Segura spent seven years with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems as a campaign manager and staff scientist for Civil Systems Business Development. During her tenure there, she led remote sensing algorithm development and engineering concept design and capture studies for spacecraft missions targeted for Mars, Jupiter, asteroids, comets, the Earth, and the Moon.  Early in her career, Dr. Segura held various space science positions within NASA and Academia, publishing several research papers on the climatology of Mars. 

“It is an exciting time to be in the space and satellite industry, and I share Accion’s vision of making space more accessible for exploration,” said Dr. Segura.  “As the smallsat market continues to grow, the need for a new approach to propulsion has never been more apparent.  Accion has the potential to do for in-space propulsion what SpaceX did for launch, and I'm excited to be a part of this team.”

Dr. Segura earned a bachelor's degree in astrophysics from Columbia University, and Master's and Doctorate degrees in astrophysical, planetary, and atmospheric sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Smallsat Innovator Accion Systems Expands Executive Team With Appointment of New VP of Engineering

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Smallsat Innovator Accion Systems Expands Executive Team With Appointment of New VP of Engineering

Accion Systems today announced that Mr. Chris Norman has joined the company as Vice President of Engineering. Accion develops technologies for the new space industry including advanced satellite propulsion systems.  Mr. Norman will lead engineering, manufacturing and mission assurance at Accion.

Prior to joining Accion, Mr. Norman served as Vice President of Operations at CyPhy Works Inc., a leader in developing innovative unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for government and commercial customers.  In his role at CyPhy Works, Mr. Norman directed engineering, manufacturing and program management. His team developed unique tethered drone technology used on CyPhy Works’ products. The Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communication (PARC) system passed Army testing and is deployed in operations. Other products include a unique tethered drone for indoor environments, the Pocket Flyer.  

As iRobot Corporation’s Director of Engineering for Defense and Security Systems, Mr. Norman managed an engineering team that designed and produced more than two thousand explosive-handling robots that were used in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operations Enduring Freedom. Previously, Mr. Norman developed and led iRobot’s business on the Army’s Future Combat Systems program that ultimately produced several hundred robots used by soldiers in combat operations. Mr. Norman served as the Chief Technology Officer at Emerging Science & Technologies and Mechatron, companies that provided robotics technologies and services.

“Chris has worked on many cutting-edge engineering initiatives, and also managed development teams bringing innovative products to market,” said Natalya Bailey, CEO of Accion Systems.  “We are thrilled to have Chris on board as we execute on our aerospace ambitions.”

Accion develops in-space propulsion technologies that optimize scalability, performance and efficiency, making it easier and more affordable for companies and people to explore space.

“Accion Systems is a trailblazer in the smallsat industry, and its ion propulsion system is groundbreaking,” said Chris Norman.  “Accion combines the energy of the new aerospace industry with innovative technology in a way that was too great an opportunity to be missed.”

Mr. Norman began his career developing explosives detection and handling robots with Orbiting Astronomical Observatories (OAO) Corporation where he performed software and mechanical engineering. Mr. Norman earned a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. 

About Accion Systems
Accion Systems develops advanced satellite propulsion systems for the space industry.  Accion’s in-space propulsion technologies optimize scalability, performance and efficiency.  Accion’s flagship product, TILE, uses proprietary ion electrospray thrusters, bringing electric propulsion to satellites of all sizes and redefining in-space capabilities.  Accion Systems was founded in 2014 by two MIT engineers, Natalya Bailey and Louis Perna, and is based in Boston, MA.  For more information, please visit www.accion-systems.com or follow the company @AccionSystems

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Accion Team and Natalya and Louis nab NEVY 2016 Nominations!

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Accion Team and Natalya and Louis nab NEVY 2016 Nominations!

Accion was announced as a nominee for Hottest Seed Startup at the 2016 NEVY Awards, hosted by the New England Venture Capital Association and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., to celebrate entrepreneurship in New England across the Tech and Life Science communities!  In addition, our own fearless leaders -- cofounders Natalya and Louis -- were also nominated for another NEVY, the Rising Star award. 

 

This year’s nominees were selected by an academy of judges composed of last year’s winners, experts in the technology and life science industries and Boston’s industry experts who have made an impact on the city’s entrepreneurial and venture capital landscape.

 

The 2016 NEVY Award winners will be announced at Boston’s House of Blues on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.  If you’d like to come and cheer us on (and chat about space!?), please visit http://attend.com/2016NEVYAwards to purchase tickets!

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Accion's 2015 year in review

Accion effectively came into being in early 2015 when we raised some seed funding. Then we got really busy and you haven't heard from us in a while. So as we head into what is hopefully another fast-paced, anything-but-boring year, let us recap some highlights from 2015.

We moved into our own facilities and set up shiny new propulsion system manufacturing, assembly, and test equipment. We're HQ'd in Boston so come check us out if you're in the area.

We won a $3MM DoD development contract, completed a military research contract, cashed our first commercial checks, signed up as the main propulsion for some cool science missions, and are in talks with a partner to become the standard on every satellite they sell.

We (ok mostly MIT) flew our technology in space and confirmed that the laws of physics are true up there and our systems do indeed move satellites around.

We got rated by Fortune Magazine as most likely to someday be valued at over $1B at their annual Brainstorm Tech conference.

We hired talent and set up capabilities to get cracking on R&D so we can start growing in other areas.

And to answer the burning questions I've just instilled: yes, we are hiring, and you can buy your system in mid-2017.

Until next year!

Accion team

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Accion wins Fortune Magazine's Unicorn Idol competition!

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Accion wins Fortune Magazine's Unicorn Idol competition!

Accion nabbed a spot at Fortune Magazine's Brainstorm Tech conference this week in Aspen, CO. Natalya pitched against 4 other startups in an attempt to convince the audience that Accion could one day be worth at least $1B, which would move the team into the realm of companies referred to as "unicorns" by the Valley. 

The judges for the contest were Brad Feld, Amy Banse, and Donald Sterling, though ultimately the audience voted for the winner. Accion won the contest and a set of Herman Miller office furniture, and Natalya got to mingle all week with inspirational folks like many Fortune 500 CEOs and the CTO of the US, Megan Smith.

The Fortune Mag coverage is here; stay tuned to the print/web edition of Fortune for a spread on Natalya and Accion.

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Accion announces $3MM DoD Rapid Innovation Fund award

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Accion announces $3MM DoD Rapid Innovation Fund award

Accion Systems, a small satellite propulsion company, won a $3MM grant to advance its propulsion systems.

June 17, 2015—Accion Systems Inc. today announced it has been awarded a $3MM Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) contract from the Department of Defense. The RIF program was established to facilitate the rapid insertion of innovative technologies into military systems. Through this effort, Accion will advance its next-generation electric propulsion system.

Accion has demonstrated smaller products for the increasingly popular CubeSat form factor since raising its seed round in December of 2014 and is also under contract to investigate novel methods for higher-thrust systems using the same hardware. CEO Natalya Brikner says of this award and other recent progress that “our team is excited to take our technology to the next level of performance and capability with so many strong partners behind us.” A flight demonstration was launched last month but the propulsion system is still waiting its turn in the mission’s order of operations before it will be turned on and evaluated.

To meet demand from the rapidly growing small satellite sector, the MIT-spinout is expanding into new facilities outside of Boston and is recruiting for several positions including mechanical engineers, a production and quality engineer, and a program manager.

About Accion Systems Inc.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Cambridge MA, Accion Systems Inc. develops advanced technologies for the new space industry. Accion’s propulsion systems are some of the first that can add maneuverability and lifetime to small satellites; the same systems can be scaled up to support satellites up to 2000 kg. Learn more at www.accion-systems.com.

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Accion successfully tests its first product!

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Accion successfully tests its first product!

This week, our team tested our first product, MIN-0!

Since raising our seed round, we've been busy designing and building our first prototype of a gum pack-sized product called MIN-0.

MIN-0 was designed in collaboration with an industry partner and includes the thruster head, power electronics, and propellant tanks and supply system. MIN-0 produces enough thrust to detumble a CubeSat launched from the International Space Station, or to compensate for atmospheric drag in Low Earth Orbit.

 Rendering of MIN-0.

Rendering of MIN-0.

During tests, MIN-0 provided an impressive 30 uN of thrust (as inferred from current measurements). Tests were performed in vacuum to simulate operation in space.

With this successful design, build, and test under our belt, we're kicking off development of our next products, which will add more thrust, higher efficiency, and increased lifetime to enable missions like orbit raising and interplanetary transfers for satellites up to 150 kg.

 David setting up the power electronics board for MIN-0.

David setting up the power electronics board for MIN-0.

 Sample test results. Sorry, no labels.

Sample test results. Sorry, no labels.


 

Even I got to help with testing!

 
 

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Accion Systems Inc. raises $2MM to develop next-generation propulsion systems for satellites

Accion Systems, a startup printing advanced propulsion systems, raises $2MM from FF Science, RRE Ventures, Founder Collective, and others to develop its first product and begin filling pre-orders.

January 5, 2015—Accion Systems Inc. announces a $2MM seed round to support product development and initial sales of its ion electrospray propulsion technology. The round was led by FF Science and included RRE Ventures, SDF Ventures, Founder Collective, Galvanize Ventures, Samuel Lessin, Slow Ventures, Tim Tokarsky, Rene Reinsberg, Marek Oszlewski, GettyLab and TechU Angels.

Accion develops advanced electric propulsion systems that provide critical capabilities for small satellites. Over the past year, the team has started taking pre-orders for their first product, which is in development and will launch later in 2015. Accion CEO and founder Natalya Brikner says “our unique propellants and novel manufacturing techniques let us break from slow, expensive aerospace tradition and leverage advances in areas like 3D printing and nanofabrication”.

This round of fundraising will support product development and sales, R&D into next-generation materials and manufacturing techniques, and hiring. Accion is currently looking for engineers, materials scientists and a sales and business development person. Interested candidates can apply at www.accion-systems.com.

About Accion Systems Inc.
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Cambridge MA, Accion Systems Inc. develops advanced technologies for the new space industry. The company's propulsion systems are some of the first that can turn affordable satellites into capable ones. Learn more at www.accion-systems.com

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