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My name is Michael Bretti, and I am the founder of Applied Ion Systems. I am an interdisciplinary engineer with an intense dedication and passion for the fields of electric space propulsion, plasma physics, high vacuum engineering, pulsed power, and particle beam systems. I have been interested in these unique and niche applications for many years, and from my years of research, and my love for a practical, hands-on DIY experimental approach to engineering, have begun to explore ways of developing and sharing resources on these technologies and making them more accessible, and to lower the boundary of entry into these advanced engineering systems. These efforts have lead to the start of Applied Ion Systems.

Applied Ion Systems originally evolved from a hobby effort to a full blown LLC. It is particularly unique in that it is an open-source company aimed at pushing the boundaries of advanced technologies at extremely low costs that are otherwise not accessible to the average enthusiast. Applied Ion Systems now focuses primarily on open source research and development of advanced electric propulsion systems for nanosatellites, pioneering these technologies in new ways to make them more accessible, and lower cost than ever realized before.

In addition to designing and testing the latest in electric propulsion technologies for nanosatellites, Applied Ion Systems also openly provides resources for the hobbyist, enthusiast, and educational communities, regularly engaging with students, makers, and pioneering start-ups all over the world, making the Applied Ion Systems approach even more unique and radical in the field of electric propulsion. It offers everyday enthusiasts a chance to not only peer into advanced R&D, through constant updates, build details, and live testing, but provides a way for anyone to directly contribute to the development of real thruster systems that will ultimately be flown in space!

Come follow my journey and the Applied Ion Systems unique R&D effort through social media! You can also connect and directly contribute to these efforts if you would like to help expand the field of open source electric propulsion to new heights. Together, we will continue to pioneer the field, breaking boundaries!


Michael Bretti - High Vacuum Propulsion Testing Chamber

Michael Bretti, founder of Applied Ion Systems, next to a homebuilt high vacuum micro propulsion testing chamber in the basement, where these efforts started and continue to this day.


Applied Ion Systems, LLC is a for-profit open-source R&D company advancing the field of electric propulsion through a unique approach towards design, engineering, and accessibility.