B20 Thruster - Green Chemical Propulsion

Dawn’s unique and in-house developed chemical propulsion has been designed from inception to be a simple, effective propulsion system for satellite builders. It is modular and highly scalable to suit satellites of all sizes and total impulse requirements; from 500 - 250,000+ N.s. It is space-proven and has been previously launched by SpaceX, VEGA and Soyuz-2, on both CubeSats and 200 kg class satellites.

By utilising nitrous oxide and propene propellants in a self-pressurising configuration, this green propulsion architecture has increased capabilities compared to hydrazine, LMP-103S (ADN), AF-M315E (HAN) or other proprietary fuel-blend systems.

These points are unique to Dawn:

  • Self-pressurizing propellants: No helium pressurisation systems required. This enables simple, lightweight and low-cost feed system and tank designs. Stable pressure throughout the satellite’s life ensures constant thrust and Isp of >285 s.
  • Commonly available propellants: They can be sourced from local industrial gas suppliers and are not subject to export control restrictions.
  • Electric based ignition: No preheating of catalysts results in significant power savings. It also means thrusters are rapidly cold-start capable, with unlimited cold-start capability.
  • Thrusters fire in both ambient and vacuum environments: Combined with non-toxic propellants, this allows for simple satellite integration and highly representative hardware testing at system level with live or simulated propellants without the need for specialised testing environments.
  • Thrusters operate in both hot and cold-gas modes: This means the same thruster can perform both high-performance burns and fine impulse manoeuvres.
  • Low power draw: with an average firing power of 12.5W per thruster while firing.
  • 6 DOF capable: through a fully integrated RCS system.

Dawn can deliver complete turn-key propulsion systems, complete with thrusters, propellant tanks, feed system and thruster control electronics.  A full-service partner, Dawn provides support in hardware, logistics, systems integration, propellant sourcing and onsite fueling.

Dawn will go the extra mile, so that you can too!

Lead Time:
6 months
Thrust Range:
6.6 N to 19.3 N (temperature dependant)
Specific Impulse:
>285 s
Minimum Impulse Bit:
<1 N.s bi-propellant mode
Minimum Impulse Bit:
<400 mN.s cold gas mode N2O
Minimum Impulse Bit:
<50 mN.S cold gas mode C3H6
Operational Temperature:
-5°C to 35°C
Dry Mass:
610 g
Cold start capable. No preheating catalysts
Self-pressurising propellants
Firing Power, Average:
12.5 W
Propellant Type:
Nitrous oxide (N2O) and propene (C3H6)
ITAR free and REACH compliant
No propellant degradation over time
Max Operating Frequency:
4 Hz
Inlet pressure, range:
Oxidiser 27.7 to 72.0 bar; Fuel 5.0 to 14.7 bar
Flow rate, range:
Oxidiser 2.3 to 6.9 g/s; Fuel 0.26 to 0.88 g/s
Mixture ratio, nominal:
8.5 to 9.2
Mixture ratio, range:
6.0 to 11.0
Nozzle expansion ratio: