Richard Dinan, CEO and Founder of Pulsar Fusion, joined FINN at Space-Comm Expo 2023 to explain how the company is developing various types of propulsion systems for the global space sector.
“We are a British aerospace company exhibiting our electric propulsion systems – we build really powerful electric propulsion systems for satellites that are ready to fly. We also build hybrid rocket engines and we also invest in liquid hydrogen propulsion too,” he explained.
Nuclear fusion propulsion
The company is now investing a lot of money into the research of nuclear fusion propulsion, which gives really fast propulsion speeds, up to 1,000 times more than some of the electric propulsion systems available today.
“We’ve been doing it for about 12 years and at the beginning it was ‘light sabres’, raising eyebrows, but now it has changed,” Dinan said. “We’ve seen fusion work, everyone have got their head around that actually it’s coming and I therefore if we can do it for energy, we can definitely do it for propulsion.”
According to Dinan, there are very few companies investing in nuclear fusion propulsion but Pulsar Fusion has partnered with a big company in the USA to test the solution. “It is all falling into place – components are catching up, regulation is catching up, launch weights are catching up so it is super exciting,” he added.
The company is testing the technology at its facility in Bletchley in the UK – it has a large reactor and is conducting research to see how plasma behaves under electromagnetic confinement in the form of a fusion rocket so it can provide real data to the industry rather than theoretical papers. “We love doing this, and now we’ve got very serious players who are very interested in it too,” he said.