ThermaSat Technology Receives Supplemental Funding – Phase II National Science Foundation Award


Howe Industries, the parent company of ThermaSat Inc, has received a roughly $200k Technology Enhancement for Commercial Partnerships (TECP) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to supplement its ongoing Phase II SBIR program.  This supplement to the nearly $1M Phase II award, commercializes the ThermaSat propulsion system through an industry partner.


ThermaSat was formed because of commercial interest in the ThermaSat propulsion system being developed by Howe Industries LLC under the Phase I and Phase II SBIR NSF award. We develop in-space mobility, focusing on “green” propellant and reusability, In-Orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Maintenance (ISAM) solutions.  The ThermaSat propulsion system uses a thermal capacitor and phase change material to rapidly expand water into a superheated jet of steam allowing satellites to move in space. This system utilizes water as a “green” propellant which is safe to handle and integrate posing limited risks to ground crews and other satellites compared to traditional toxic and high-pressure propellants.

In early 2022 Howe Industries accelerated the development of the ThermaSat propulsion system with the help of a Phase II grant from the NSF at their Scottsdale facility. Howe Industries is partnering with Orbital Transports Inc for the TECP award. Orbital Transports is a space logistics provider and general contractor for space missions providing end-to-end program services, systems engineering, and coordination of supply chain partners. The two companies work together to develop a commercial version of the ThermaSat propulsion system for the CubeSat form factor.