High-thrust Green Bipropellant Propulsion Module for Satellites
Green. Affordable. Safe.
Meteor is designed to replace conventional, hydrazine-based satellite propulsion systems. It offers performance comparable to legacy bipropellant systems, but is not hypergolic, does not use catalysts to dissociate propellant, and does not require exotic materials. Plus, the propellant is less than 10% the cost of hydrazine. It therefore offers performance, safety and low handling costs, all better than legacy bipropellant options. As an added bonus, our green bipropellant is future-proof: our fuel and oxidizer can both be synthesized from in-space resources present on the Moon, Mars and asteroids.
Meteor is a drop-in replacement for legacy bipropellant systems. DSI’s own missions need a propulsion system that provides high thrust operation for impulsive orbital maneuvers, while also providing the highest possible Isp at low acquisition and operations cost. Meteor is very similar in performance to legacy systems such as MMH / NTO in terms of Isp, Isp-density, thrust level, and dry mass.
Safe and Low Cost
The key to low-cost propulsion on commercial rideshare is safety. For this reason, Meteor does not require hypergolic propellants, which ignite spontaneously when combined. And any propellant spills can be cleaned up with water and good ventilation. This makes Meteor uniquely easy and low-cost to work with and manifest on launch vehicles.
Many of the advantages of Meteor arise from the way we put the system together. In order to make it easy to integrate into a spacecraft, DSI is putting all of the tanks, valves, thrusters, and other components into a propulsion module specifically configured for each customer and each application.
- Similar performance to traditional, toxic, hypergolic bipropellant systems
- Uses non-hypergolic propellants, and the fuel and oxidizer do not mix at room temperature
- Does not incorporate catalysts or exotic materials
- Easy clean-up and disposal with good ventilation and water
- Far safer to handle than hydrazine, no need for SCAPE suits
- Customized easy-to-integrate propulsion module
We anticipate qualifying our first Meteor propulsion module as flight ready by mid-summer, 2018. This is the module that will form the core of our Prospector spacecraft, which we aim to launch to an asteroid in early 2020. The outline performance of this first Meteor propulsion module is as follows:
|Main Engine Thrust:||285 N (66 lbs)|
|Isp-Density:||350 – 365 s-g/cc|
|RCS Thrust:||0.35 N (0.08 lbs) (providing full 6 DOF maneuvering capability)|
|Total Impulse:||750,000 N-s|
We anticipate production lead times on the order of 6 – 9 months for Meteor propulsion modules.