SUPPLIERS

Phase Four believes that strong relationships with suppliers and manufacturers are key to our success. We take pride in building and maintaining these relationships, and hope the tools here will help you begin one with us.

SUPPLIER SURVEY

At Phase Four, we are building the future of space. Through unprecedented innovation and cost effectiveness, Phase Four’s plasma propulsion technology is the keystone that enables satellite missions to achieve their full potential. 

SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT: FALCON EXODYNAMICS

AN AIR-BREATHING ENGINE
Encouraged by initial test results using atmospheric air as propellant in Phase Four’s RF thruster (RFT), and inspired by air-breathing research concepts like ESA’s GOCE and JAXA’s TSUBAME (SLATS), Phase Four VP of advanced development Jason Wallace and propulsion engineer Chris Cretel teamed up to conceptualize a US-based air-breathing engine for very low Earth orbit (VLEO) and deep space missions.

Air breathing mission concept.

Wallace and Cretel’s feasibility analysis was promising, but they wanted independent validation. What missions might an air-breathing engine enable? Was there a market for an air-breathing engine? Wallace sought to quantify the real benefits an air-breathing engine would unlock.

WHY BUILD IT?
He turned to Falcon ExoDynamics, a space mission design and analysis firm just down the beach from Phase Four’s El Segundo lab. Helmed by founder and CEO Michael Klug, Falcon has decades of experience designing space missions from concept all the way to launch and operations.

Klug started Falcon in 2017 after nearly twenty years in the aerospace industry developing cutting-edge systems at Millennium Space Systems, and before that, at TRW (which merged with Northrop Grumman in 2002).

“We love partners like Phase Four who engage with us to solve complex problems,” said Klug. “They aren’t afraid to think outside the box, learn, and rapidly iterate on potential solutions.”

Falcon’s operational experience, coupled with deep knowledge of complex astrodynamics and Earth/space science underlying the software they’ve built, enabled Phase Four to visualize the full range of mission operations an air-breathing engine might support. Falcon quantified the real advantages that VLEO space platforms could achieve over existing state-of-the-art (e.g. UAVs, high altitude balloons, and LEO space missions).

“Mike and the team at Falcon helped us step into our customers’ shoes. We can now better rise to their challenges,” said Wallace.

Example of Falcon Exodynamics analysis.

“Above all, Falcon has been encouraging of clever, creative concepts of operation,” he added. “We are thrilled to have them as a trusted technical advisor to Phase Four, helping us move from ideation through critical design review.”

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