Cold gas microthruster

Kean How Cheah, Chaggai Ganani, Kristina Lemmer, Angelo Cervone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review


This chapter covers the development of cold gas microthruster, which is widely regarded as the simplest way of generating thrust in space, for nanosatellites. A brief background and principles of operation were given, followed by the introduction of nozzle theory that could be used in the preliminary estimation of microthruster performance and considerations in selecting a suitable propellant. The current state of development in cold gas microthruster (at the time of writing in 2020) was provided, from its first use in SNAP-1 in 2000 to another 12 nanosatellites as well as one technology demonstration mission in Prototype Research Instruments and Space Mission technology Advancement small satellite. The chapter ends with a discussion on future nanosatellite missions that will feature a cold gas microthruster system and the challenges, such as fabrication of micronozzle and its design optimization, to improve overall efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace Micropropulsion for Nanosatellites
Subtitle of host publicationProgress, Challenges and Future
EditorsKean How Cheah
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780128190371
ISBN (Print)9780128190388
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2022


  • Cold gas
  • CubeSat
  • MEMS
  • Micronozzle
  • Microthruster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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