Extension of pulsed plasma thrusters lifetime for cubesat application.

Lead Participant: MARS SPACE LIMITED


Cubesat are small satellites with a mass of about 1 – 3 Kg and provide quick and cheap access to space. At present a propulsion subsystem for this class of spacecraft does not exist hence their manoeuvrability and lifetime are limited. Mars Space Ltd and Clyde Space Ltd have already developed a propulsion subsystem (called PPTCUP) able to double the orbital lifetime of a cubesat. During testing the prototype outperformed the requirements in terms thrust and propellant consumption but there was insufficient time and resources available to demonstrate adequate lifetime. The project will investigate the parameters that influence the thruster lifetime with the aim of modifying the PPTCUP design to achieve good performances and long lifetime.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

MARS SPACE LIMITED £64,784 £ 32,392


CLYDE SPACE LIMITED £27,841 £ 13,920


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