FIRST 3-ELECTRODE μPPT IN SPACE, FALCONSAT-3 (LAUNCHED 2007, SUCCESS)
The basic micro-pulsed plasma thruster configuration was created and patented by the AFRL in response to the Air
Force’s need for efficient, low-mass propulsive ACS for small spacecraft.
The hardware and design were transitioned to Busek for advanced engineering and flight hardware development under
the IHPRPT program, a collaboration of Air Force, NASA and industry. The resulting three-axis MPACS (Micro-Propulsion
Attitude Control System) was built, tested and delivered for launch in 2007.
Four of these units have successfully flown on the USAFA FalconSat-3 satellite. The micro-pulsed plasma thruster is a
rugged, precision propulsion technology that has continued development and miniaturization at Busek Co, Inc.
(photo courtesy Colonel
Micro Propulsion Attitude
Control System (MPACS)
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Launch, 03 Sep 2007