Long duration Vacuum Arc Thruster for nanosatellite propulsion

Dr. Igal Kronhaus | Aerospace Engineering


Automation, Mobility and Aerospace

The Technology

A reliable, non-magnetic, long lived Vacuum Arc Thruster (VAT) – the inline screw feeding vacuum arc thruster (ISF-VAT) is a mechanically controlled feeding mechanism. The feeding mechanism moves the cathode towards the exit plane in a helical path. This enables uniform erosion along the cathode circumference and a cathode liner motion that is matched to the radial erosion rate. At a prescribed rate, complete erosion of the cathode is achieved. Alongside the erosion a uniform re-coating of the cathodeinsulator-anode interface, which is critical for reliable operation over many pulses.


  • No magnetic interference
  • Full utilization of the propellant mass, i.e. Cathode material
  • Continuous and reliable feeding

Applications and Opportunities

  • Nanosatellite with mass less than 10 kg
  • Fine attitude control and drag compensation for larger spacecraft
  • Spacecraft drag compensation
  • Low power metal plasma source
  • Material processing
arrow Business Development Contacts
Shikma Litmanovitz
Director of Business Development, Physical Science