CuSP Propulsion System

VACCO’s cold gas Micro Propulsion System (MiPS) provides attitude control and orbital maneuvering. SWRI’s CuSP program utilizes VACCO’s cold gas system to achieve highly reliable propulsion while serving as a space weather station.

The VACCO CuSP MiPS is approximately 0.3U in volume and uses four 25 mN cold gas thrusters to develop 69 N-sec of total impulse that provides 8.8 m/s of delta-V for an 8 kg CubeSat. Each thruster independently operates to perform both delta-V and ACS maneuvers through an integrated microprocessor controller.


  • Integral aluminum fluid control manifold and low friction, space grade valves
  • All welded tank construction contains 177 g of propellant
  • Integrated microcontroller and RS-422 interface enable high-level commands from the host spacecraft
  • Low power with < 1 Watt for health and status monitoring
  • Easily configured for different propellants
    • R-134a
    • R-236fa
  • Performance density: 231 N-sec/L

CuSP Propulsion System Datasheetpdf-icon

Operating Parameters

Propellant R236fa
MDP 6.89 Bar (100 psia)
Proof Pressure 10.34 Bar (150 psia)
Burst Pressure 17.24 Bar (250 psia)
Internal Leakage <0.5 scch R-236fa
External Leakage <1.0 x 10-6 sccs GHe
Operating Temp -15°C to +55°C
Non-Operating Temp -24°C to +55°C
Total Impulse @10°C 69.4 N-s
Dry Mass 0.513 kg Max
Wet Mass 95% Fill @ 10°C 690 g Max
Operating Voltage 9.0-12.6 VDC
Standby Power 1 W Max
Warmup Power 12 W Max
Thruster Operating Power (4 thrusters). 11 W Max
Data Interface RS-422
Performance characteristics are based on customer requirements. As such, they are not representative of component capabilities or limitations.

Envelope Drawing


Flow Schematic