A NEW PARADIGM IN SMALL SATELLITE PROPULSION
Mission design space for multi-mode system compared to competing standalone chemical or electic systems.
Froberg Aerospace is developing paradigm shifting multi-mode propulsion systems for small satellites.The system uses a single propellant, single feed system, and single thruster but either chemical or electric manuevers can be performed, as designed or selected on-orbit. This expands the mission design space, is more adaptable when facing mission requirements changes, and enables new, unique capabilities such as the flexibility to drastically change the mission on-orbit as new scenarios develop.
Multi-Mode Integrated Monopropellant Electrospray (MIME) Thruster
The Multi-Mode Integrated Monopropellant Electrospray (MIME) Thruster is a single thruster capable of operating in either a high-thrust chemical or high-specific impulse electric mode. A single system with a footprint typical of any single mode system is capable of any maneuver imaginable, on-demand, from large delta-V orbit transfers, to rapid rendezvous maneuvers, and everything in between.
Lunar Reference Mission Using Multimode Propulsion
Thruster testing in chemical mode (left) and electric mode (right)
Froberg Aerospace LLC was founded in 2016 with the goal of commercializing multi-mode propulsion technology developed and patented by researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO. Froberg was awarded a NASA SBIR Phase I in 2017 to further develop the concept and has been selected for Phase II beginning in 2018.
Steven Berg, PhD
Co-Founder and CEO
Steven Berg is Co-Founder and CEO of Froberg Aerospace LLC. He received his B.S., M.S., and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology in 2010, 2012, and 2015, respectively. He has over 7 years’ experience in spacecraft and rocket propulsion. During his graduate work, and with less than $5K in funding, he developed propellants specifically purposed for multi-mode monopropellant/electrospray propulsion and, for the first time anywhere, succeeded in showing functionality of these propellants in both electrospray and chemical thrusters. Additionally, he developed comparison and selection methods for multi-mode spacecraft propulsion systems and designed an integrated multi-mode thruster for small satellites. He has previously worked at SpaceX as a Propulsion and Test Engineer during which he worked on several liquid rocket propulsion development projects and supporting quantification and acceptance testing of the Falcon 9 Stage 2 vehicle. His previous experience in pioneering multi-mode propulsion technology and success in developing commercial technology and working in fast paced environments make him uniquely suited to lead this project.
Joshua Rovey, PhD
Co-Founder and CTO
Joshua Rovey is co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Froberg Aerospace and also tenured Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He has worked in the space propulsion area for over 14 years having published over 75 journal and conference papers in this area. His research interests include spacecraft propulsion, electric propulsion, plasma dynamics, and energy systems. He received BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan in 2002, 2003, and 2006, respectively. Before coming to Illinois in 2017 he was professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology where he directed the Aerospace Plasma Laboratory. Additionally he was a propulsion research engineer for a small business, Starfire Industries, from 2006-2007 where he investigated linear Hall-effect thruster and field-reversed configuration propulsion concepts. His work has explained decades-old anomalous pulsed inductive plasma behavior, explained the loss in effectiveness of aerodynamic plasma actuators at low pressure, and quantified the evolution of Hall-effect thruster channel surface properties. He has been part of over $6.6M in sponsored research (serving as PI on over $2.9M) from NASA, Air Force, Navy, Dept. of Energy, and industry. He is recipient of numerous awards including an Air Force Young Investigator award, NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Fellow, and the AIAA Lawrence Sperry Young Professional award.
5/11/20 - Froberg Aerospace graduates from the Creative Destruction Lab Accelerator!
10/7/19 - Froberg Aerospace invited to participate in the Creative Destruction Lab Accelerator!
10/9/18 - Froberg Aerospace selected as a finalist in the Newspace Business Plan Competition.
7/22/18 - Co-Founder Steven Berg interview with Champaign News Gazette 'Wired In'. Read it here.
7/9/18 - Froberg Aerospace moves into new offices at EnterpriseWorks Incubator in Champaign, IL
3/7/18 - Froberg Aerospace selected for NASA SBIR Phase II for its project 'Multi-Mode Micropropulsion'
7/27/17 - Co-Founder Steven Berg featured in Missouri S&T Magazine: Fueling Space Flight
5/24/17 - Co-Founder Steven Berg interview with NewSpace People: Read it here.
5/14/17 - Froberg Aerospace selected as a finalist in the NewSpace Business Plan Competition-St. Louis Regional: See it here.
4/19/17 - Froberg Aerospace awarded NASA SBIR Phase I for its project 'Multi-Mode Micropropulsion'
Please see link(s) below for more information on our current open positions:
Froberg Aerospace is always on the lookout for top talent in the space industry. If one of the open positions above does not meet your particular interests, please do not hesitate to reach out about potential future open positions. Please send your resume to
To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.
Froberg Aerospace, LLC is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be reviewed based on the merit of their education and experience, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, veteran status, or mental disabilities.
For any inquiries, questions or commendations, please call: 636-497-6998 or email
To apply for a job with Froberg Aerospace, please send a Resume/CV to: