Michael Bretti of Applied Ion Systems describes open source space propulsion at the 2020 Open Hardware Summit:
Applied Ion Systems initially started out of a personal hobbyist effort to share projects involving plasma systems, particle beams, and and high vacuum projects. Later, as I began to expand my efforts and meet awesome makers around the world, I began focusing my efforts on open source electric propulsion for small satellites, such as PocketQubes and CubeSats.
Eventually, this effort evolved into the world’s first and only open-source home-based electric propulsion program, working on cutting edge plasma and ion thrusters for small satellites on a hobbyist level budget.
My main objective was to provide intensive engineering resources, data, and system designs for the community to help lower the barriers of entry into the field, and allow enthusiasts to follow along the journey of creating and testing these advanced systems, with the ultimate goal of developing low-cost, easy-to-use, fully integrated space-qualified thrusters.