Apollo Constellation Engine

An electric propulsion system with best in class performance at a fraction of the size.

Introducing ACE, the Apollo Constellation Engine: 2-3x better impulse per mass & volume

Impulse per system volume, N-s/L
250kg sat, 500m/s delta-V, 1 thruster, with propellant

Impulse per system mass, N-s/Kg
250kg sat, 500m/s delta-V, 1 thruster, with propellant

A smaller, lighter, better electric propulsion system

Unique features make ACE up to 3x smaller and lighter per impulse than any other flight system. With major innovations in the cathode, flow system, magnetic lensing, magnetic circuit, and propellant, ACE offers revolutionary performance.

Key features Advantage
Instant-start, center mounted, heater-less cathode Dramatically improved reliability
No welding and no moving parts Improved reliability;

Easier to build and test
98% efficient PPU More efficient use of solar power;

Less waste heat to the satellite
Hybrid magnetic shielding Less erosion; longer lifetime; reduced EMI

Representative system performance

ACE was designed to be modular and scalable for satellites with available power between 200W and 20kW. The representative configuration below is ideal for many smallsats planned for large LEO constellations.

Total impulse 300 kNs
Thrust 33 mN
Specific impulse 1500 s
Dry mass 4.1 kg *
Power to PPU 500W
Input voltage 27-38 VDC
Propellant 20 kg

* Includes thruster, PPU, tank, feed system, connectors, fasteners, structural components

Representative system performance, 6-thruster configuration

Total impulse 1800 kNs
Thrust 198 mN
Specific impulse 1500 s
Dry mass 14.8 kg *
Power to PPU 3000W
Input voltage 27-38 VDC
Propellant 120 kg

* Includes thruster, PPU, tank, feed system, connectors, fasteners, structural components

Seven generations of ACE developed at Silicon Valley speed

Apollo's R&D lab has four vacuum chambers and one thermal-vac chamber, allowing for hundreds of tests per week. This enables the development of new architectures in weeks instead of years. ACE is now at version 7.

ACE's tiny PPU is 98% efficient

Many PPUs are large, heavy, and expensive. In contrast, the ACE PPU is less than one kilogram and is the size of a scientific calculator. It was designed to operate at a single set point, based on the available power of the satellite and customer mission requirements. Its 98% efficient, which means it efficiently uses the power from the solar panels and very little heat escapes to the satellite structure.

ACE enables new missions that weren’t possible before

More impulse per satellite means more agility, more mobility, and the ability to perform missions previously considered impossible. ACE expands the envelope, giving mission planners the impulse to do more with every satellite.

Varying orbits for unpredictable overflights ...now possible
VLEO communication missions for the fastest data rate 9x improvement in data rate
VLEO earth observation missions for better imaging 2x resolution with same aperture
Boost from LEO to GEO $7,000,000 savings

Available in large quantities with a short lead time

Apollo will soon be ready to ship flight units with a short lead time of two months, depending on customer requirements for qualification and acceptance test schedules. Based on our customer demand, Apollo has already set up manufacturing capable of delivering dozens of units per month.

What can ACE do for your constellation?

Reach out to us at info@apollofusion.com and let's talk.