Sprite Propulsion System

Sprite is a self-contained propulsion module designed to operate individually or up to eight modules collectively. Multiple Sprite modules can provide distributed “Power by Wire” propulsion capability to a SmallSat (just like revolutionary Electrohydrostatic Actuators (EHAs) on modern day aircraft). One or more Sprite units can serve as a simple and cost-effective way to add collision avoidance and de-orbit capability to your spacecraft as a bolt-on solution. 

Technical Overview

Sprite is a self-contained module designed to operate in single or multi-module mode to add spacecraft propulsive capability. It uses a single 0.1N ASCENT thruster in blow-down operation. Communication with the module is achieved via RS-422 protocol. Up to eight (8) Sprite modules can be installed and work collectively on a spacecraft. Communication between the spacecraft and Sprite is RS-422 protocol. Communication between each Sprite Module is achieved via RS-485. This allows synchronization of command execution for all modules. Importantly, the interface protocols between the spacecraft and our products are unchanged.

Sprite fits in a 10cm x 10cm x 15cm envelope plus “tuna can.” The structure is nearly entirely additively manufactured Titanium, with integrated propellant management devices (PMDs). With mass < 2.0kg, Sprite delivers > 1200 Ns of total impulse. Sprite can be configured with an auxiliary propellant feed port to add an electrospray propulsion subsystem, enabling dual-mode propulsion. The module has separate power rails for controller electronics, heaters, and valves, providing enhanced personnel safety and operational hazard mitigation. The module is outfitted with an externally accessible fuel port. Rubicon Space systems will offer options to fuel prior to integration or afterward, depending on your requirements.

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ATTRIBUTE Sprite Propulsion System
TRL / PMI 6 / E
WET MASS < 2.0 Kg
VOLTAGE 5V / 9 - 12V
POWER 2 - 16 W
THRUST 0.15 - 0.05 N
COMM RS-422 / RS-485