The Maxwell electric propulsion solution. (Photo: Phase Four)

Phase Four has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract from Air Force tech accelerator AFWERX, to adapt its Maxwell in-space propulsion system for defense users. The contract, which starts this month, is in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory and the National Security Innovation Network.

Phase Four, which makes Radio Frequency (RF) plasma engines for in-space propulsion, said its Radio-Frequency Thruster (RFT) addresses the needs of high volume satellite constellations with an architecture that allows for manufacturing to scale, along with accommodating a range of solid, liquid, and gas propellants.

“With space now a contested domain, we look forward to collaborating with the Air Force to provide United States space assets with the superior maneuverability and resiliency required to ensure mission success,” Jason Wallace, vice president of Phase Four Advanced Development, said.