- News & Events
- Industrial Collaboration for the Development of Thrusters for Microsatellites
Industrial Collaboration for the Development of Thrusters for Microsatellites
Dawn of a New Era in Space
The entry of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk into the space industry has set a new trend and presented new opportunities for Japanese manufacturing companies. Takasago Electric Inc. (Midori Ward, Nagoya City) is a manufacturer of valves for propulsion engines (thrusters) for the microsatellite developed by YUKI Precision Co. Ltd. (Chigasaki City). Takasago Electric also aims to expand its business by entering the global market.
Operational background of Microsatellites
In the recent years, microsatellites weighing 1 – 10 kg have been increasing exponentially due to increased private usage and cost reductions in the field. While government-led satellites are highly functional, large, and extremely expensive, the "constellation method", in which ultra-small low-cost satellites are operated as a group, is becoming mainstream in the private sector. In principle, a satellite thruster is the same as for a rocket engine but is used to control the position and attitude of the satellite to maintain orbital positioning.
In the past, agile microsatellite attitude control and orbital change was only required in a few cases. However, the need for highly-accurate constellation position and attitude control and the need to “self-destruct” after the operation as a countermeasure against debris (space garbage) have now increased the demand for microsatellite thrusters, and in this respect, Takasago electric has a lot to offer.
To cater to this growing need, YUKI Precision and Takasago Electric have collaborated to develop an ultra-compact thruster. An official announcement was made at the Small Satellite Conference 2021 held in Utah, USA, from August 7th last year. Ease of handling and enhanced safety through the use of low-toxic fuel and excellent cost performance are the key advantages of this product, which is expected to make inroads in the space business.
Takasago Electric Co., Ltd. was founded in 1959 and is a specialized manufacturer of fluid control equipment such as valves and pumps. In addition to supplying parts for medical and environmental analysis equipment, we aim to apply fluid control technology to various advanced fields, such as regenerative medicine, plant factories, artificially cultured meat, and space beer brewing.
Note: This is a joint press release statement.