ExoTerra offers complete propulsion solutions including miniature Hall-effect thrusters, power processing units, and xenon/krypton flow control systems for affordable high-impulse microsatellite and CubeSat propulsion. If you are interested in our electric propulsion systems, please contact us for more information.
Flight-Proven Small Propulsion
ExoTerra’s revolutionary Halo Hall-Effect Thruster allows CubeSats to escape their rideshare drop-off orbits to reach optimal orbits, maintain them for long durations, and deorbit on command. Halo meets the tight mass, volume, and thermal constraints of CubeSats and other rideshare spacecraft, and its high Isp and total impulse expand the mission potential of CubeSats by enabling them to attain and maintain targeted orbits. With Halo, CubeSats can perform better science, extend their useful lifetime, operate together in structured constellations, and even conduct low-cost lunar and interplanetary missions. Halo has demonstrated operation at input power levels between 100 and 450 W, making it the perfect choice for satellites from 6U CubeSats up to ESPA class.
Hall-effect thrusters provide CubeSat and small satellites superior total impulse performance compared to combustion, electrospray, or pulsed plasma propulsion options. This enables a broader spectrum of missions and a longer satellite lifetime. Halo’s demonstrated thrust range of 4-30 mN with xenon propellant decreases total transfer time over ion engine alternatives. Total specific impulse correspondingly ranges from 700-1500 s, allowing Halo to produce greater ΔV from a given propellant volume than other options. This high thrust and high efficiency fits into a compact space: Halo weighs only 0.83 kg and fits within a 80 mm diameter by 75 mm long envelope. Halo has been successfully tested with both xenon and krypton, providing an easy flexibility in propellant choice to help manage mission costs.
Four Halo-based integrated propulsion systems are currently operating in orbit (as of 7/1/2023).
ExoTerra’s revolutionary Halo12 Hall-effect thruster-based EP subsystem provides industry-leading performance and enables small satellites to perform extremely high-ΔV missions. The subsystem uses the JPL-developed and ExoTerra- commercialized Halo12 magnetically-shielded Hall-effect thruster, which has a projected total impulse capability of up to 7 MN-s (equivalent to >20,000 h of operation and >500 kg throughput) operating on Xenon and an estimated total impulse capability of up to 4 MN-s (equivalent to >12,000 h of operation and >200 kg throughput) operating on Krypton. This EP subsystem enables small satellites to perform interplanetary and deep space science, lunar activities, or robust long life LEO & GEO missions, including LEO-GEO transfers, inclination changes, and establishing non-traditional orbits. The TRL-5 subsystem thruster is undergoing a robust flight qualification program with a minimum of TRL-7, including flight heritage, expected in Q3-4 2023.
The Halo12 electric propulsion subsystem provides superior performance versus existing commercial small satellite propulsion technologies. Xenon operation yields up to 110 mN of thrust and up to 2200 s total specific impulse. Krypton operation yields up to 85 mN of thrust and up to 1850 s total specific impulse. Regardless of propellant, the thruster operates at over 50% total efficiency. Along with its high-thrust, high-efficiency capabilities, the fully throttleable subsystem is exceptionally compact and lightweight. With a >100 kRad TID capability, wide throttling envelope, on-orbit update capability, and options for single or multiple simultaneous string operations, the subsystem is ideal for near-Earth and interplanetary missions.”