MPV image


CUA has developed an electrothermal thruster which consumes an inert polymer propellant fiber. This patented technology retains performance characteristics competitive with other warm gas systems, but enables more accessibility to micropropulsion via dramatically reduced cost and the elimination of range safety concerns. CUA’s Monofilament Vaporization Propulsion (MVP) draws from extrusion 3D printer technology to feed and melt polymer propellant in preparation for evaporation and heating up to 750K using CUA’s compact resistojet technology. Despite undergoing depolymerization and two separate phase changes, the system power requirements are manageable, demonstrating average specific thrusts of 0.10 mN/W, and a maximum specific impulse in excess of 100 s for short duration burns. System performance contained in a 1U package is 271 N-s total impulse from 419 g of Delrin monofilament propellant, operating at 13.5W average duty-cycled power (45 W peak), 4.5 mN, and 66 s Isp.


Form Factor
Dry Mass
0.621 kg
Average Power
45.0 W
In Production
  • Champaign-Urbana Aerospace

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