Busek’s BGT-X5 green monopropellant thruster system produces 0.5N thrust and features a highly stable “green” propellant alternative to hydrazine. The thruster features a patented long-life catalyst reactor, high temperature thruster body, and lowpower piezo microvalve (flight heritage). The novel propellant tank and patent-pending Post-Launch Pressurization System (PLPS) enable a compact high-thrust propulsion solution for CubeSats and SmallSats. The BGT-X5 system has 1U volume and easily scales by increasing the size of the propellant tank to support higher total impulse applications. Alternately, multiple systems can be easily integrated onto a single spacecraft for modular attitude control and translational thrust.
The thruster delivers 500 mN thrust at 220-225 seconds specific impulse at approximately 400 psi feed pressure. As a 1U system, it delivers 146 m/s delta-V to a 4 kg CubeSat and is capable of multiple start-stops for precision firing and short impulse bits on the order of 0.05 N-s. The rugged flight electronics includes an integrated DCIU with communication via RS-422.
The system uses a highly stable, ‘green’ propellant (AF-M315E), which offers 10% higher specific impulse, and 45% greater density than hydrazine, a highly toxic monopropellant. Replacing hydrazine with AF-M315E translates to a smaller, lighter propellant tank and lower wet mass for a given mission. The stable propellant reduces transportation costs and ground handling time, and allows for simplified storage given its lower vapor pressure. Based on system performance, operational responsiveness, size, and safety features, the BGT-X5 is the clear choice among small monopropellant solutions.