The AIS-VAT3 Vacuum Arc Thruster represents the next generation of larger class vacuum arc thrusters at AIS. The VAT3 scales up the original AIS-VAT1-PQ Micro Vacuum Arc Thruster design and brings the AIS-VAT Series into a whole new power class. The VAT3 is also essentially the same as the original VAT2 design, but incorporates twice the power supply capacity in a slightly larger form factor. At 40W power-class capacity, the VAT3 is sized for use with larger Cubesats, specifically allowing for integration up to 6U-class satellites.

UPDATE: As of 10/25/2022, the VAT3 development is officially ended and obsolete


  • Type: High Power Vacuum Arc Thruster
  • Power: 40W
  • Thrust: 256uN (at 4Hz)
  • Thrust (End of Life): 64uN (at 4Hz)
  • Shot Lifetime: up to 300,000
  • Total Impulse: 8Ns
  • ISP: TBD
  • Rep Rate: 1-4Hz
  • Size: 92x92x75mm
  • Mass: TBD
  • Fuel: Bismuth
  • Inputs: 5V, GND, x2 Logic Commands


AIS-VAT3 Vacuum Arc Thruster Gallery


AIS-VAT3 Vacuum Arc Thruster Development Playlist

  • Type: 40W-Class Vacuum Arc
  • Thrust: 256uN
  • Rep Rate: 1-4 Hz
  • Fuel: Bismuth