Miniature 'CubeSat' Satellites Now Propelled by Water

Purdue University researchers introduce a new type of micropropulsion system for miniature satellites called CubeSats that uses an innovative design of tiny nozzles that release precise bursts of water vapor to maneuver the spacecraft. Nanosatellites like CubeSats might be launched to perform a variety of tasks, from high-resolution imaging and internet services, to disaster response, environmental monitoring, and military surveillance. To achieve their full potential, CubeSats will require micropropulsion devices to deliver precise low-thrust 'impulse bits' for scientific, commercial, and military space applications.Read a Tech Briefs Q&A with postdoctoral research associate Anthony Cofer, who helped to develop the technology.