South Burlington Startup Developing Satellite Propulsion Systems

Jan 11, 2017

A startup in South Burlington wants to get in on the ground floor of a coming revolution in small satellites. GreenScale Technologies is developing tiny propulsion systems for these small satellites.

Ryan McDevitt is the company's co-founder and lead research and design engineer. McDevitt explained to Vermont Edition on Monday that the small satellites are known as "CubeSats," describing them as "about 4-inch cubes that weigh under 10 pounds." They hitch a ride into space when larger spacecrafts are launched, McDevitt says.

"They piggyback up and they get deposited in whatever orbit is convenient for the launch provider," McDevitt says. "And what we're looking to do is to make it so that they can change their orbit, go to a different location, move around, avoid obstacles – and then safely come back down when they're done."

Listen to the full interview above for more on what CubeSats can do, how GreenScale Technologies' propulsion systems work and the planned timeline for launching a satellite with their system.