Etched Disc Technology

Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission
NASA JPL Mars Science Laboratory Mission delivered a new rover to Mars in August 2012. The Curiosity rover, which is about the size of a small SUV and weighs one ton, has a primary goal: to assess whether the Red Planet is, or ever was, capable of supporting microbial life.

High Pressure Filters

Low Pressure Filters

As a producer of flight qualified, high performance etched disc propellant and pressurant filters, VACCO Industries has been providing absolute filtration for satellites and spacecraft since 1961.

VACCO’s etched disc filters are constructed from thousands of stacked metallic discs that have been chemically micro-machined with micronic flow channels on the surface of each stacked disc to enable precision filtration from 2 micron to 100 micron absolute.

The etched disc filters that we design and manufacture boast the following characteristics:


Available in all-titanium and all-stainless configurations, VACCO’s etched disc filters can be manufactured in a diffusion-bonded, high efficiency configuration to save weight and increase gas flow, as demonstrated on the Mars Science Laboratory mission. Other materials are available upon request.

Satellite and spacecraft manufacturers worldwide choose VACCO’s etched disc filters for the most critical and demanding commercial, military and science missions.

For hazardous applications, such as nuclear fuel pools, industrial refineries and gas plants, we provide highly specialized etched disc self-cleaning filtration systems.

Etched Disc Propellant Filter
VACCO etched disc propellant filters are installed in the Propulsion Propellant System aboard the cruise and descent stages of the MSL mission.