A Protoflight High Specific Power Electric Propulsion System

Period of Performance: 09/08/2011 - 09/07/2013


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Msnw LLC
851 154th Ave NE
Redmond, WA -
Principal Investigator


The Electromagnetic Plasmoid Thruster (EMPT) has demonstrated the ability to ionize, electromagnetically accelerate, and eject a broad range of complex and chemically-reactive molecular gases, including monopropellants. EMPT has the potential to dramatically increase the operational range of existing electric propulsion (EP) systems in both power density, power throttling, and propellant choice. Proposed here is a Phase II program to develop protoflight hardware for the EMPT thruster to be flown on FalconSAT-6. This experiment will demonstrate the in-space operation of a high specific power pulsed thruster operating at 1 kW average power on Xenon. A ground-based multi-mode development will demonstrate the electromagnetic operation of the EMPT on monopropellants. The highly scalable EMPT represents a dramatic advancement for EP technology and has direct applications for 1 kW to 1 MW EP thrusters