Modular impulsive green monopropellant propulsion system (Mimps-g): For cubesats in leo and to the moon

Ahmed E.S. Nosseir*, Angelo Cervone, Angelo Pasini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Green propellants are currently considered as enabling technology that is revolutionizing the development of high-performance space propulsion, especially for small-sized spacecraft. Modern space missions, either in LEO or interplanetary, require relatively high-thrust and impulsive capabilities to provide better control on the spacecraft, and to overcome the growing challenges, particularly related to overcrowded LEOs, and to modern space application orbital maneuver requirements. Green monopropellants are gaining momentum in the design and development of small and modular liquid propulsion systems, especially for CubeSats, due to their favorable thermophysical properties and relatively high performance when compared to gaseous propellants, and perhaps simpler management when compared to bipropellants. Accordingly, a novel high-thrust modular impulsive green monopropellant propulsion system with a micro electric pump feed cycle is proposed. MIMPS-G500mN is designed to be capable of delivering 0.5 N thrust and offers theoretical total impulse ITot from 850 to 1350 N s per 1U and >3000 N s per 2U depending on the burnt monopropellant, which makes it a candidate for various LEO satellites as well as future Moon missions. Green monopropellant ASCENT (formerly AF-M315E), as well as HAN and ADN-based alternatives (i.e., HNP225 and LMP-103S) were proposed in the preliminary design and system analysis. The article will present state-of-the-art green monopropellants in the (EIL) Energetic Ionic Liquid class and a trade-off study for proposed propellants. System analysis and design of MIMPS-G500mN will be discussed in detail, and the article will conclude with a market survey on small satellites green monopropellant propulsion systems and commercial off-the-shelf thrusters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number169
Number of pages26
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Chemical rocket propulsion
  • CubeSats
  • Green monopropellant
  • Micro electric pump feed cycle
  • Small satellites


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