The AIS-VAT3 Vacuum Arc Thruster represents the next generation of high-power electric propulsion developments at AIS and is currently the biggest and most powerful thruster in the AIS-VAT Series. 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. At over 50W power-class capacity, the VAT3 is sized for use with larger Cubesats, specifically allowing for integration up to 6U-class satellites. At only 0.75U in size, the VAT3 offers significant power capacity and thrust in a highly compact and low-cost form factor.

Despite being a high-power 50W-class electric propulsion system, the VAT3 still leverages the same design principles as the original VAT1-PQ, allowing for unprecedented cost reduction at this size and power class. At only $15k the VAT3 is more affordable and accessible than any other electric propulsion system in its power class on the market by a significant margin, allowing anyone developing larger Cubesats to afford high-performance electric propulsion for their missions. The VAT3 can also be easily customizable, not only in fuel selection, which allows a wide combination of thrust and ISP, but can be made in different form factors and custom mounting to allow for easier mechanical integration.

The first V1 prototype has been officially constructed, and has already begun preliminary qualifications, with several successful firing from 4W up to 81W with Titanium fuel. The VAT3 is currently available for pre-order arrangements.


  • Type: High Power Vacuum Arc Thruster
  • Power: 4-80W
  • Thrust: >1000uN (EST.)
  • Shot Lifetime: TBD
  • Total Impulse: TBD
  • ISP: TBD
  • Orbital Movement: TBD
  • Rep Rate: TBD
  • Size: 92x92x75mm
  • Mass: TBD
  • Fuel: Titanium, Bismuth (or any metal based on user needs)
  • Inputs: 12V, GND, Logic Commands
  • PRICE: $15,000


AIS-VAT3 Vacuum Arc Thruster Gallery


AIS-VAT3 Vacuum Arc Thruster Development Playlist

  • Type: 50W-Class Vacuum Arc
  • Thrust: >1000uN (est)
  • ISP: TBD
  • Fuel: Ti, Bi