Space Applications

Spacecraft Electric Propulsion

Electric Pulsed for spacecraft

We believe our EP3 thruster technology has the potential to be just as efficient as existing electric thrusters (such as ion and Hall effect thrusters) and with similar specific impulse. EP3 technical advantages are that the thruster is less complex and much more robust, and can use a variety of propellants including gases, inert plastics, and propellants extracted from asteroids, Mars, the Moon, etc. The EP3 will also be far cheaper to build, can be more readily scaled to larger sizes and very high power levels than current electric propulsion systems. Our plasma thruster technology should be scalable from a few kilowatts all the way up to megawatts of average power. From a practical viewpoint for satellite design, our thruster technology will have much higher thrust per unit area than ion or Hall thrusters, thus taking up less room on the rear of the spacecraft.

Our technology stems from our already scalable single-shot pulsed plasma guns, our plasma thruster design also promises to be scalable, including up to sizes large enough to support future large interplanetary manned space missions. We believe our thruster technology will be best suited for spacecraft with minimum masses of 100 kg (about 220 lbs.) and larger.

Advantages of EP3 thruster:
  • Rapid and low cost thruster development timeline
  • Simple and highly robust
  • Low weight thruster
  • No neutralizer needed (neutral exhaust)
  • High thrust density compared to Ion and Hall thrusters
  • Most EP3 thruster components can be sourced from COTS technology
  • EP3 can be sized for satellite mass categories of mini, medium and large
  • Inherently tolerant to dusty asteroid surface environments
  • Wider range of thrust and ISP
  • Flexible propellant options also include inert solid plastics at high ISP