End-Mounted Standard Micro-Propulsion System for CubeSats

The VACCO End-Mounted Standard Micro-Propulsion System (MiPS) is a low-cost, cold gas propulsion module designed to utilize the “tuna can” volume in CubeSat P-POD deployment systems.

Using Chemically Etched Micro System (ChEMStm) technology, VACCO has produced a complete propulsion system including propellant storage, pressurization, distribution, thrusters and controller. This simple, highly integrated design uses a self-pressurizing liquid propellant that is expelled as a gas.

The 0.25U MiPS is capable of 93N-sec of total impulse with upto 1,860,000 firings. MiPS brings true propulsion capabilities to micro-spacecraft for formation flying, altitude control and velocity change (delta-v).


  • Five thrusters for pitch, yaw, roll and delta-v
  • 10mN thrust
  • Up to 1,860,000 minimum impulse firings
  • Frictionless valves
  • Inherently safe, non-toxic R134a propellant
  • All-welded aluminum alloy construction
  • Light weight
  • Minimal re-entry hazard
  • Smart system with integral controller:
    • Simple RS422 digital interface
    • Integral sensor suite
    • Closed-loop vector pointing
    • Closed-loop thrust vector control
Nominal Thrust 10 mN @ 20°C Vibration 16 Grms
Specific Impulse 40 sec Minimum Impulse Bit 0.05 mN-sec
Total Impulse 93 to 312 N-sec Operating Voltage 9.0 to 12.6 vdc
Internal Leakage <1 x 104 sccs GHe Mass (Including Propellant) 676 to 1420 grams
External Leakage <1 x 10’6 sccs GHe Stand-By Power 0.25 watts
Operating Temperature 0°C to +60°C Maximum Steady-State Power 10 watts

Envelope Drawing

end mounted standard mips envelope

Spec List

Part Number Size Depth (mm) “Wet” Mass (grams) Total Impulse (N-Sec)
X14029003-11 0.25U 30 676 93
X14029003-14 0.5U 56 924 166
X14029003-17 0.8U 86 1221 254
X14029003-19 1U 106 1420 312