Phase Four, a leading provider of electric radio frequency (RF) thrusters for in-space propulsion, announced the introduction of Maxwell, their flexible propulsion solution targeted at small satellites. Developed as a mass-produced, powerful and sustainable propulsion system for emerging small satellite constellations, Maxwell powers a new era of in-space business opportunity, infrastructure deployment, and expansion.
Designed for use at scale, Maxwell brings the performance and efficiency of traditional and expensive electric engines to new small satellite constellations. Maxwell's unique technology does not require high voltage components and electrodes - primary aspects of traditional satellite engines that are barriers to high volume manufacturing. The product architecture behind Maxwell was created to cater to the specific needs of SmallSats in a range of sizes and power classes, commercializing and accelerating the development of the SmallSat-based industry.
With efficiency and scalability at the forefront, Maxwell's design also allows for future spacecrafts to use newer, less expensive propellants that may be sourced in space, further contributing to first-in-market differentiators and sustainable in-space industry. Maxwell is anticipated to be delivered to initial customers beginning in Q3 2019. Prior to launch, Maxwell will undergo rigorous testing and performance evaluations at multiple aerospace facilities.
As Phase Four moves into this commercially-focused stage – bringing its mass-produced plasma engines to commercial satellite builders and operators – the company has named Beau Jarvis as CEO. Phase Four founder, Simon Halpern remains on the board of directors and an active advisor to the company on its strategy for commercialization.
2019 will be a significant year for Phase Four as it begins deliveries to early Maxwell customers. To scale up operations and bring Maxwell to market, the company has also added Laura Overly, formerly of Millennium Space Systems to the team. Overly brings over a decade of aerospace supply chain experience and analytical capabilities to Phase Four. Phase Four's leadership team also includes VP of Engineering Mike Kwapisz, VP of Operations Jason Wallace and Chief Scientist, Umair Siddiqui.