Military Embedded Systems

Propulsion electronics for small sats provided under new subscription service


June 16, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Phase Four image.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster for satellite propulsion, announced that it will expand its Maxwell turn-key plasma propulsion line and offer satellite manufacturers a long-term subscription service called P4 Pass. 

According to the company, Maxwell Block 2 offers expanded mission capabilities, while Maxwell Block 3 aims to deliver improved performance. Both engines are available via the P4 Pass, which guarantees fixed pricing and shortened lead times. Officials claim this news comes in the wake of the company's recent Series B Financing announcement.

Phase Four claims it is now developing Maxwell Block 2, which is designed to leverage the flight-proven thruster and electronics from Maxwell Block 1, but offers varied propellant tank size options and improved thermal management for extended propulsion operations. Maxwell Block 3, scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2022, implements Phase Four's next-generation electronics that are intended to enable improved performance, including twice the fuel efficiency of the current version of Maxwell.

Phase Four is also introducing a long-term subscription program that will aim to provide satellite manufacturers with access to Maxwell engines available at a fixed, discounted price and lead times of 3-4 months from purchase to delivery. P4 Pass is available with a two- or three-year subscription.  


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