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CU Aerospace has tested a proof-of-principle Monopropellant Propulsion Unit for CubeSats (MPUC). Complete catalyzed combustion was demonstrated of a H2O2-based propellant denoted as CMP-8. CMP-8 has zero toxicity and no special measures are required for its long-term storage. The propellant was subjected to a scaled UN Series 1 detonation test series and demonstrated no detonation propagation when confined under a charge of high explosive. Potentiometric titrations with standardized sodium bisulfite demonstrated no degradation in the CMP-8 over a three-year, room-temperature storage period. Thrust stand tests achieved a thrust level of >100mN at Isp >183 s with an average input power of ~3 W, for hot fire runs typically spanning >10 minutes. A single run of greater than one hour was also demonstrated. While some other monopropellants have a minor advantage in Isp, the MPUC propellant has advantages in availability, cost, lower flame temperature (less thermal management and radiation losses), lower pre-heat temperature, lower viscosity, and low thruster materials costs. MPUC designs comprise a complete propulsion system technology for CubeSats and other small satellites, with a high performance, nontoxic monopropellant that possesses benign storage characteristics. The conceptual system also provides cold-gas attitude control and projects >1200 N-s/liter of volumetric impulse.



CU Aerospace – MPUC 1.5U

NameMPUC 1.5U
ManufacturerCU Aerospace
ClassificationMonoprop System
Form FactorCubeSat
Vendor Overview
Vendor NameCU Aerospace
Vendor Website
Vendor LocationUnited States
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    ClassificationMonoprop System
    Form FactorCubeSat
    VendorCU Aerospace
    Mass1.6 kg
    Nominal Power3.0 W