Through the application of a new approach to energy analysis to microelectromechanical systems, the flat plasma spectrometer (FlaPS) provides a solution to the investigation of plasma distributions in space. It is capable of measuring the kinetic energy and angular distributions of ions in the space environment for energies ranging from a few eV to 50 keV. A single pixel of a FlaPS instrument has been designed, built, and tested to occupy a volume of 1 cm3, and is characterized by a high throughput-to-volume ratio, making it an ideal component for small-scale satellites. The focus of this work is on the design, fabrication, simulation, and testing of the instrument front end that consists of a collimator, parallel plate energy analyzer, and energy selector mask. Advanced microfabrication techniques enable fabrication of the miniature plasma spectrometer with geometric factor 4.9×10-5 cm2-sr per pixel and an entrance aperture area of 0.01 cm2. Arrays of narrow collimator channels with 4-deg angular divergence and high transmission allow energy analysis of ions without the need for focusing, the key feature that enables large mass reduction. It is also shown that the large plate factors achievable with this approach to energy analysis offer definite advantages in reducing the need for excessively high voltages.