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Phase Four Wins AFWERX Funding Boost for Propulsion Tech Development 

By Rachel Jewett | July 10, 2023
      Phase Four's Maxwell propulsion solution. Photo: Phase Four

      Phase Four’s Maxwell propulsion solution. Photo: Phase Four

      Propulsion company Phase Four received a funding increase from the Air Force Research Laboratory and its innovation arm AFWERX. The $4.26 million funding increase is focused on developing a propellant decomposition chamber for propellant-agnostic electric propulsion. 

      This contract is a tactical funding increase (TACFI) under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process. Phase Four said the propellant decomposition chamber will be designed to meet challenges for the Department of the Air Force and strengthen national defense capabilities. 

      “We are proud of the Department of the Air Force’s continued support and recognition of Phase Four’s leadership in developing American-made satellite propulsion systems with high performance and propellant-agnostic capabilities,” said Phase Four’s Vice President of Advanced Development, Jason Wallace. 

      Phase Four was founded in 2015 to provide advanced propulsion systems to satellite constellations. Last year the company unveiled a new engine for Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations with domestically sourced iodine-based propellant.