Space is getting crowded and collision risk is real. Be prepared.

Our ‘El Matador’ collision avoidance feature enables your spacecraft to deftly step aside from incoming threats.

Orbion has the only electric propulsion system capable of increasing thrust by 100x on demand.  High thrust when you need agility.  High fuel efficiency for routine maneuvers.

Carry an insurance policy against collisions.

Offered as an option on our Aurora small-satellite Hall-effect thruster, the Orbion ‘El Matador’ feature is comprised of a high-thrust cold-gas nozzle along the center axis of the Hall-thruster head.  The nozzle is fed from a common tank and is seamlessly integrated with the Hall-thruster propellant management assembly and power processing unit.  You may never need this feature, but for less than 0.5 kg of added mass your spacecraft can have an “Oh S#!t” button that delivers up to 2 Newtons of thrust for agile evasive maneuvers.

Dual-mode propulsion from a single system
  • ● 20 milli-Newtons at 1,400 seconds Isp in Hall-effect mode
    ● 2 Newtons at 30 seconds Isp in cold-gas mode
    ● Zero impact on system power
    ● Less than 500 grams added system mass
    ● Single common propellant tank

Collision warning timelines are getting shorter

In 2020 there were 1,600 close encounters between two satellites each week.  Small satellites maneuver frequently and often employ automated thrust strategies – making orbit prediction difficult and dynamic.  Low-thrust technologies may not have sufficient agility to avoid a collision given only a few hours notice.  A high-thrust maneuver can ensure your spacecraft survives to continue its mission.

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Collision warning timelines are getting shorter

In 2020 there were 1,600 close encounters between two satellites each week.  Small satellites maneuver frequently and often employ automated thrust strategies – making orbit prediction difficult and dynamic.  Low-thrust technologies may not have sufficient agility to avoid a collision given only a few hours notice.  A high-thrust maneuver can ensure your spacecraft survives to continue its mission.

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Orbion + ‘El Matador’ offers the best of both worlds

Issac Newton is somewhat of a tyrant: High-specific-impulse electric propulsion technologies are inherently low thrust. There is no way around it. So while EP can save valuable spacecraft mass the same thruster can not deliver high thrust for agile maneuvers. Conversely, cold-gas systems can provide tremendous thrust, but fuel efficiency is poor. The dual-mode Orbion Aurora + ‘El Matador’ system allows the spacecraft user to select the appropriate mode depending upon mission requirements.

Standard mission maneuvers (orbit raise, re-phase)Agile maneuvers for resilience (collision avoidance, divert)
Electric Propulsion
High Isp
Low Thrust
Cold Gas Propulsion
Low Isp
High Thrust
Orbion Aurora + El Matador
High Isp
High Thrust

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