PPTCUP (Pulsed Plasma Thruster for CUbesat Propulsion) customer oriented develoment

Lead Participant: Mars Space Ltd


In the past years Mars Space Ltd and Clyde Space Ltd have developed, qualified and sold to customers the first units of an electric propulsion (EP) subsystem for cubesat applications called PPTCUP. At present PPTCUP is the only cubesat EP subsystem to have been subjected to flight qualification. Nevertheless, since the development of this product started, the cubesat market has significantly evolved becoming a commercial reality with Earth Observation (EO) cubesats attracting investments in excess of 100 M$ and with two big companies representing about 40% of the total market. The goal of this project will be to modify the existing PPTCUP design to increase its performances and to obtain a product that is tailor made for these customers capturing a significant share of the EO cubesat market and setting the standard for cubesat propulsion. To achieve such a goal Mars Space and Clyde Space are collaborating with the Satellite Application Catapult and the Advanced Manufacturing Centre of the University of Sheffield (part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult) to leverage their know-how and experience in the cubesat market and in advanced manufacturing technologies.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Mars Space Ltd, Southampton £133,218 £ 79,931


Clyde Space Limited £122,906 £ 73,744
University of Sheffield, United Kingdom £15,990 £ 15,990
Satellite Applications Catapult Limited, Didcot £18,156 £ 18,156


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