The AIS-VAT0-DEMO is the first ever off-the-shelf DIY educational electric propulsion learning kit in the field and on the market, allowing for electric propulsion to truly be accessible to the masses. Taking advantage of the extreme simplicity, low-cost, and wide operating range of micro vacuum arc thruster technology and leveraging the significant developments from the original AIS-VAT1-PQ Micro Vacuum Arc Thruster, the VAT0-DEMO opens the doors for anyone to start exploring electric propulsion technology and get hands on experience building and firing your very own, fully operation thruster based off of real flight-module technology.

One of the most powerful features of the VAT0-DEMO kit is the ability to leverage the wide operating range of pulsed vacuum arc sources. Because these sources can be run at both low and high vacuum, the DEMO kit allows anyone to begin experimenting with electric propulsion without the need for high vacuum pumping infrastructure, radically lowering the cost of the major barrier of entry into the field. The VAT0-DEMO has been fully vetted from 10^-6 Torr all the way up to 200mTorr, and because of this wide operating range, only a basic rotary vane mechanical pump is required for backing the system. At the recommended operating pressure of 50mTorr, the VAT0-DEMO has been tested to over 300,000 shots from a single build at max rep rate (10 hours straight operation at 8Hz), with lifetime potential significantly higher due to the ability to reliably trigger and operate in a gas-enhanced mode using residual background gases in the chamber.

The VAT0-DEMO also uses the same exact thruster head and control architecture of the original VAT1 Series, meaning that operation of the DEMO is exactly the same, and can be easily controlled with basic microcontrollers like the Arduino. The DEMO only requires 5V input with two logic commands, making for a simple and compact fully functional thruster perfect for demonstrating the fundamental principles of electric propulsion and opening up plasma thruster testing for the classroom and home use.

The kit includes the thruster, spare ceramic washers, graphite stick for rebuilding the trigger layer, spare Bismuth cathodes, cable for power and control, spare hardware, instruction manual, and hard carrying case for storage and transportation. For ordering, there are 3 levels of assembly options to choose from: fully DIY (no soldering, no thruster head assembly), partial assembly (board soldered, no thruster head assembly), and complete assembly (full board soldering, graphite layer set, thruster head assembled.)

**Due to the very high prices for shipping internationally from the US, the resulting price reflects the added shipping for international buyers.


  • Type: Micro Vacuum Arc Thruster Demo DIY Kit
  • Power: 2.5W
  • Shot Lifetime (10^-2 Torr): >300,000
  • Shot Lifetime (10^-6 Torr): 60,000
  • Rep Rate: Single Shot to 8Hz
  • Size: 50x50x21mm
  • Fuel: Bismuth
  • Inputs: 5V, GND, x2 Logic Pulses
  • PRICE (Domestic): $570.00 (shipping included)
  • PRICE (INTERNATIONAL): $720.00**


AIS-VAT0-DEMO Educational DIY Micro Vacuum Arc Thruster Kit Gallery








  • Type: Micro Vacuum Arc Thruster
  • Inputs: 5V, GND, x2 Logic Commands
  • Fuel: Bismuth
  • Price: $570 (US), $720 (Int)