MEPSI Micro CubeSat Propulsion System

The MEMS PicoSat Inspector (MEPSI) Micro-Propulsion System (MiPS) is a cold gas propulsion module designed for 1U CubeSats.

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

Capable of 23 N-Sec of total impulse with up to 43,000 firings, MiPS brings true propulsion capabilities to micro-spacecraft for formation flying, attitude control and velocity change (delta-v).


  • Five thrusters for pitch, yaw, roll and delta-v
  • 53 mN thrust
  • Up to 43,000 minimum impulse firings
  • Redundant, frictionless valves
  • All-welded titanium construction
  • Dry mass: 456 grams
  • Integral pressure & temperature sensors
Max Operating Pressure 150 psia Operating Temperature 0°C to +60°C Gas Tank Pressure Sensor Output 0.5 to 3.5 vdc
Proof Pressure 225 psia Vibration 16 Grms Coil Resistance 5.3 +/- 0.5  coil
Burst Pressure 375 psia Cycle Life 80,000 cycles Pull-in Voltage 3.5 vdc max @ 20°C
Thrust 53 mN @ 20ºC Minimum Impulse Bit 0.53 mN-sec Drop Out Voltage 1.0 vdc min @ 20°C
Internal Leakage 3.6 scc/hr GN2 @ 20ºC Operating Voltage 4.0 to 6.0 vdc Mass 456 grams (dry)
External Leakage 1.0 x 10 -6 scc/hr GN2 @ 20ºC Tank Pressure Sensor Output 0.5 to 3.5 vdc

Performance characteristics are based on customer requirements. As such, they are not representative of component capabilities or limitations.

Performance Characteristics


Envelope Drawing

System Schematic