MTL News

MTL propulsion technology featured in Boston Globe

May 7, 2015

Louis Perna, a cofounder of Accion Systems, observed a wafer being etched at MIT. Photo, David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Earth-orbiting satellites traditionally weighed as much as trucks, but in recent years space has been filling up with satellites smaller than a minifridge for educational, research, and defense uses.

Unlike larger satellites, which can carry a heavy cache of fuel, these small satellites are often launched without their own propulsion systems, making them hard to control and too often shortening their useful life in space.

Now, a startup in Somerville, Accion Systems, is developing a series of tiny thrusters, slightly larger than a pack of gum, that will allow these satellites to maneuver and adjust their orbits, even fly in formation or decommission themselves by spiraling down to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.

Read the full story online

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