EU research results


English EN

Enabling Chemical Propulsion System for the Growing Small Satellite Market


The global satellite industry is experiencing a paradigm shift exhibited by the rapid expansion of the small satellite market. It is being driven by continuously advancing technological, design, manufacturing capabilities and decreasing launch costs.
Despite the booming demand for and evident advantages of small satellites, one critical system – satellite propulsion – have fallen behind this recent miniaturization trend. At present, there are no market-ready small satellite green chemical propulsion systems available. Alternative propulsion systems are mostly based on hazardous chemicals, are expensive, difficult to integrate and offer low performance.
NanoAvionics, a satellite manufacturer and integrator, developed EPSS (TRL 6) – low cost, high performance propulsion system for small satellites, making use of a non-toxic, environmentally-friendly propellant. The entry market size for this system is €1.75 bn in 2017-2020. Success in this market will permit later extension of the technology to the medium and large scale satellite market.
To ensure successful commercialization, during SME Phase 2 project NanoAvionics aims to conduct final piloting and qualification of the technology, preparation of the production infrastructure, product commercialization, and increasing the investment readiness of the company. The project will raise the TRL of EPSS to 8 by integrating it into pilot partner’s satellite, and will contribute to reaching TRL 9 by launching partner’s satellites to space demonstrating EPSS in orbit. Using EPSS will enable pilot partner to offer unique services based on small satellite constellations.
NanoAvionics has already signed the piloting agreement as well as 3 Memorandums of Understanding and 10 Letters of Intent with organizations that intend to integrate EPSS into their satellites. SME Phase 2 project will result in €14 M revenues and €4.4 M profit by 2020 and brake even reached in 2 years after the end of the project.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries




Mokslininku G. 2a
10224 Vilnius


Activity type

Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)

EU Contribution

€ 1 175 655,43

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 768434


Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 June 2017

  • End date

    30 September 2019

Funded under:



  • Overall budget:

    € 1 679 507,75

  • EU contribution

    € 1 175 655,43

Coordinated by: