Benchmark designs and builds turn-key chemical, electric and hybrid propulsion systems for cubesat through ESPA and OTV class spacecraft in LEO, GEO, and beyond, with flight heritage on several systems and components. Our core focus is to eliminate pain points in propulsion procurement and integration, enabled by a range of non-toxic propellants, qualified subsystems including thrusters, propellant tanks, modular control electronics, and intelligent GNC integration framework. The result is a plug-and-play system optimized to deliver a best-in-class solution to meet your operational and commercial mission objectives. Follow the link below to download all of our product Data Sheets in one file.

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SmartAIM™ Onboard Propulsion Control Software Layer

SmartAIM™ is an onboard Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) software layer that can intelligently interpret or create maneuver commands to actively control propulsion and other mobility subsystems. The functionality expands small satellite capabilities, from improved collision avoidance to on-orbit servicing in congested earth orbit and cislunar domains, while enabling unprecedented maneuver efficiency and operational autonomy.

Scaling constellations will use SmartAIM™ intelligent propulsion for autonomous space maneuvers that advance space sustainability, space traffic and debris management, and simplify spacecraft operations.

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Offered in tiers from assisted to more autonomous operations, SmartAIM™ uses embedded sensors and an inner-control loop for thrusters and can incorporate additional effectors, sensors, and data input to eliminate positioning and propulsion command latency and generate more efficient and effective maneuvers than state-of-the-art operations. 

SmartAIM™ desktop tools offer digital twin and simulation models to plan or verify maneuvers in advance and can be paired with Benchmark’s Hardware-in-Loop testing capability. 


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SmartAIM™ reduces integration costs and time by accepting high-level GNC commands rather than bespoke, discrete component inputs. The intelligent onboard propulsion control expands and extends operational capabilities through optimization and precision of maneuvers.

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Benchmark has designed, developed, and thoroughly tested its SmartAIM™ intelligent propulsion offering, in part with funding and R&D support from the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), and expects the first SmartAIM™-assisted flights to launch in 2024. 

Benchmark recognizes the importance of partnership to facilitate sustainable space traffic management and the development of scalable solutions. We actively engage in collaborative efforts with SSA and STM stakeholders, as well as suppliers for propulsion and other adjacent components of in-space mobility.

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Halcyon Chemical Propulsion Systems

The most versatile product family in our portfolio, Halcyon non-toxic ('green') propulsion systems are offered in a monopropellant or dual-mode bipropellant architecture with flexible thruster and tank configuration to serve a range of spacecraft and mission requirements.

Halcyon systems are designed to eliminate cost and lead-time driving materials that commonly challenge catalyst beds and thrusters in high-thrust chemical systems without compromising performance or reliability.

Also available in high-thrust Collision Avoidance Kit configuration below.

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The highlight of the Halcyon product lineup is our proprietary dual-mode thruster that features a post-catalyst fuel injection technology for missions that demand the highest specific impulse on the market.

Operations in bipropellant mode can deliver more than 300s specific impulse, while monopropellant (high-test peroxide only) mode provides excellent impulse bit performance for precision operations.

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Whether your goal is to maximize revenue, perform rapid and advanced maneuvers, or provide complimentary capability to a low-thrust system - there's a 'right-sized' Halcyon solution for your mission.

Halcyon systems are optimized for your spacecraft (6U-ESPA), total impulse (1kN·s-200kN·s), control authority (1-12 thrusters), and radiation environment (LEO, GEO, Cislunar). Contact our team to unlock the widest range of on-orbit operations available from any single in-space propulsion provider on the market.

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In June 2021, three Halcyon systems launched aboard the SpaceX Transporter 2 rideshare mission. All three units were equipped with Benchmark's ODPS™ (On-Demand Pressurization System) and one debuted Orbit Fab’s RAFTI refueling kit as part of their Tenzing mission, the first fueling depot in LEO.

In September 2022, our Halcyon Avant with four 22N bipropellant thrusters was launched to propel Spaceflight's Sherpa-LTC 2.


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Collision Avoidance (ColA) Kit

Benchmark’s Collision Avoidance Kit is a high-thrust, plug-and-play subsystem specifically designed to be a cost-effective add-on to enhance capability on non-propulsive and EP-equipped satellites. Designed for extremely flexible spacecraft integration and simplified operations, the COLA Kit provides an affordable protection plan against on-orbit threats for sustainable and responsible space actors.

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Based on Benchmark’s 1N high-test peroxide thruster, propellant tank, and electronics with heritage, the COLA Kit is configured as a low-frills blowdown system to meet required cost and reliability objectives. The Kit is available in either a modular or integrated architecture for broad application, and comes with standard electrical and mechanical interfaces

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The COLA Kit is right-sized for microsatellites and ESPA class spacecraft, to deliver several to dozens of unplanned maneuvers. As space traffic, debris, and other on-orbit activity threaten the commercial space ecosystem - rapid maneuverability for effective late-warning conjunction avoidance will play a critical role in enhancing space sustainability and regulatory preparedness. 

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The COLA Kit is based on Benchmark’s 1N high-test peroxide thruster, propellant tank, and electronics with flight-heritage. With high demand for stand-alone COLA Kits and bundled partner solutions, we anticipate heritage missions as soon as 2023. 

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“The Kayhan Space mission is all about empowering satellite operators with the information and streamlined autonomous capabilities they need to safely and efficiently navigate through an increasingly congested space environment. We are thrilled to partner with Benchmark Space Systems and integrate with their SmartAIM™ intelligent propulsion solution to maximize safe and sustainable space operations.”
- Siamak Hesar, Co-Founder & CEO, Kayhan Space
“Space Forge is transforming the return of satellites and other vehicles from space to enable the production of revolutionary products in key markets that will benefit everyone on Earth, and Benchmark Space System’s proven propulsion systems are a key enabler of our in-space manufacturing mission.”
- Andrew Bacon, Co-Founder & CTO, Space Forge
“We expect the bundled high-test peroxide-based propulsion package will become an essential building block for the in-orbit ecosystem for satellite servicing, national security, and space commercialization. Together with Benchmark Space Systems, we share a long-term perspective and commitment in order to establish a sustainable in-space infrastructure that enables spacecraft to ‘maneuver without regret.’ And we benefit tremendously from the maturity of the Benchmark propulsion system, which is already flight qualified.”
- Daniel Faber, CEO, Orbit Fab
“This CEPHALOPOD mission is an exciting step for Starfish Space. Our RPOD operations will validate our novel capabilities and set the stage for a new era of affordable and available satellite servicing. Working with Benchmark and using the Halcyon thruster for part of our tests is an important step as we demonstrate the unique performance of CEPHALOPOD. We’re also very excited to be working with our partners Orbit Fab and Astro Digital, who help make the mission possible.”
- Dr. Trevor Bennett, Co-Founder, Starfish Space

Xantus Metal Plasma Thruster

Xantus metal plasma thrusters are optimized for cubesats, and an integral tool for microsat mission optimization with high-endurance station keeping and ultra-precise pointing and docking operations.

Benchmark’s technology and product roadmap leads to a prominent role in future In-Space Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing (ISAM) operations, where the MPT technology will support in-space proximity and docking operations. Our Halcyon + Xantus hybrid packages will be engineered to ultimately incorporate in-space resource utilization (ISRU) techniques to enable a sustainable space ecosystem.

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Benchmark's differentiated millinewton-class Electric Propulsion system offers the highest total impulse in its size and several unique operational attributes, including a simple power and control unit, precise impulse bits, and modular design with a wide operational range.

The 5 kNs per 1/2U package, can be combined with additional MPT or Chemical thrusters.

Xantus Metal Plasma Thruster does not utilize gas or liquid propellants, neutralizers, heaters or high voltage electronics. 

Download our data sheet for additional technical specifications.

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The Xantus metal plasma thrusters, which can single-handedly address most cubesat missions, provide high-endurance for station keeping, and mission extension, and ultra-precise impulse bits for pointing operations. 

In hybrid format, the MPT + Chemical Propulsion system addresses a wide range of operational needs and increase ROI without compromising speed and endurance. 

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The Metal Plasma Thruster was developed by Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation over the span of a decade. With consistent NASA support along the way, variations of plasma physics and system architecture led to a flight-ready system, with an upcoming radiation hardened configuration being prepared for full qualification.

Xantus launched on the January 2024 USSF RROCI-2 EWS (Electro Optical Weather System) Demonstration Mission with Orion Space Solutions’ mission.


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Starling Cold Gas Systems

The Starling line of gas propulsion systems is designed with unprecedented safety and configurability in its class. With a variety of propellant options that include an unpressurized-launch variant and a patented resistojet option, Starling is an ideal choice for operation sets that require a simple and reliable solution and no more than 2kN·s total impulse.

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The patented technologies that differentiate the Starling offering from other gas systems is the ODPS™ (On-Demand Pressurization System) and resistojet design. 
ODPS™ utilizes a non-toxic powdered propellant that is inert and DOT-approved for shipping and can be pressurized on-orbit with as little as 15W of power. 
Benchmark's resistojet is the result of design iterations across multiple NASA-funded programs to maximize efficiency and double the specific impulse of a typical gas system (from 70s to 140s.)

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The game-changing ability to be 'fueled', shipped and stored fully assembled simplifies spacecraft integration and launch manifest logistics, improving safety and providing a path to ISS compatibility.

Gas systems can be excellent options for smaller spacecraft or budget-limited missions, or for larger spacecraft that can benefit from mission assurance provided by supplemental or off-nominal operational coverage.

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The ODPS™ has earned flight heritage as a subsystem, and several Starling Ardent systems are planned for launch in 2023.

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Peregrine Hypergolic Systems

Benchmark's Peregrine offering is an HTP-based hypergolic propulsion system that makes use of the propellant management and control electronics components and subsystems used in the flagship Halcyon product line.

Contact our team to help qualify if a Peregrine system is right for your mission.

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Benchmark's patented micro-mixing technique combined with (legacy) Tesseract's larger scale developments provide the experience needed to configure systems from 250mN to 500N.

Similar to the Halcyon systems, this HTP and Alcohol-fueled technology can sustain long burn durations without requiring sophisticated or active thermal management systems.

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Peregrine systems are ideal for high-thrust operational requirements that include relatively long burn durations (>10 minutes) or high propellant throughput (>10,000 seconds) and do not require stringent impulse-bit performance.

Hypergolic system solutions are best utilized for missions that depend on a significant insertion or transfer maneuver.

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The Peregrine systems have been developed and demonstrated to TRL6 in our labs with R&D funding. Due to spacecraft and mission specificity, Benchmark plans to identify a customer's or partner's requirement set to configure our first in-space system.

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Thruster Configurations

Although the majority of our customers are looking for a mobility partner that will support their missions with an integrated and optimized propulsion system and associated services - we do offer thrusters for integrators that have experience managing their own design and are looking to complete or upgrade their systems.

Contact our team to explore our growing list of qualified and heritage products.

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Benchmark offers resistojet, catalyzed high-test peroxide (HTP) monopropellant, catalyzed (dual-mode) HTP + Fuel bipropellant, and Hypergollic thrusters ranging from 50mN through 500N.

Contact our team to explore our growing list of qualified and heritage products.

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Benchmark offers thrusters as stand-alone components or packaged with our valves and driving electronics and will work with our customers and partners to maximize the benefits of our technology and expertise and ensure your mission gets the capability, cost, and lead time benefits that our thrusters offer.

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Benchmark has heritage on our 1N catalyzed high-test peroxide monopropellant thrusters and our 22N bipropellant thrusters, and has several additional configurations and sizes qualified and scheduled for debut missions (100mN resistojet, 250mN monopropellant, 2N Dual-mode, 22N ASCENT.)
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