Operational Demonstration of the MPS-120 CubeSat High-impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System

PI: Steve Overton, Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc

Aerojet is developing the MPS-100 CubeSat Modular Propulsion Systems product line to satisfy the CubeSat market need for commodity propulsion systems capable of providing delta-V (DV) >200 m/s. Aerojet has made significant investments over the last three years to develop technology for the flagship product, MPS-120 CubeSat High-impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System (CHAMPS), a 1U miniature hydrazine propulsion system. This project will demonstrate an Additive Manufactured MPS-120 CHAMPS that enables a 20x DeltaV increase over State of the Art CubeSat cold gas propulsion systems.

Paper (2012): Mission Applications of the MRS-142 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Monopropellant Propulsion System (CHAMPS)

Technology Areas (?)
  • TA02 In-Space Propulsion Technologies
Problem Statement

Propulsive capabilities are required to enable the CubeSat platform to access the wider range of missions that will strengthen the value proposition of the CubeSat platform, ensure continued market growth, and enable reduced cost and schedule NASA missions. Current state of the art cold gas propulsion systems provide DV of ~10 m/s, but DV of >200 m/s is required to enable benefits to NASA and the commercial market.

Technology Maturation

The program will perform the first operation of Aerojet’s MR-142 miniature hydrazine rocket engine to demonstrate a 4x engine size reduction. The program will also perform the first operation of an additive manufactured piston propellant tank and miniature isolation system that demonstrates safe storage of hydrazine on CubeSats and a credible path to low cost, short lead-time propulsion systems that are not burdened by the operational costs associated with ground handling of hazardous fluids.

Future Customers

Commercial space

Technology Details

  • Selection Date
    NRA-2-APP-E (Aug 2013)
  • Program Status
  • Current TRL (?)
    TRL 3
    Successful FOP Flights
  • 0 sRLV

Development Team

Web Accessibility and Privacy Notices Curator: Alexander van Dijk Responsible NASA Official: Stephan Ord Last Update: November 16, 2018