The CU Aerospace (CUA) / VACCO CubeSat High Impulse Propulsion System (CHIPS) offers a miniaturized and well-integrated small-satellite propulsion solution, including both a main thruster and three-axis attitude control system (ACS). CHIPS achieves a high total impulse-to-volume ratio by leveraging CUA’s high efficiency resist jet technology, VACCO Industries’ compact frictionless valve technology, and self pressurizing, non-toxic, and inert propellants. Waste heat from the electronics and resist jet is efficiently and regeneratively recovered to evaporate propellant, resulting in a system temperature rise of only ~1 degee-C per 10 minutes of operation.

The baseline CHIPS is a 1U, fully-throttleable system. System set-points, system status, and firing telemetry are all accessible and configurable through an RS-422 serial interface. CUA offers an optional battery module to simplify integration with existing low-power CubeSat buses. CHIPS may be customized to meet customer specific mission requirements.


Component Type
Cold Gas System
Form Factor
Dry Mass
0.758 kg
Average Power
15.6 W
In Production
  • Champaign-Urbana Aerospace

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