Methodology to measure impulses in the micro-newton range for a novel micro-thruster concept

Yoneshige, Lance K.
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The concept of small Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites for educational and scientific applications is becoming increasingly popular because of their relatively low cost and short developmental period. However as programs evolve and attempt more diverse and complex missions. the need for attitude control and/or orbital maneuvers from micropropulsion systems often emerges as a bottleneck technology. These micro-thruster systems arc therefore one of the core enabling technologies for the next generation of small satellites. The design for a novel sublimating micro-thruster is presented and analyzed. This micro-thruster attempts to retain the advantageous qualities of previous sublimating solid micro-thrusters while addressing their shortcomings. The performed analysis included determining the general trends of modifying certain design parameters on the expected performance. It is shown that the micro-thruster requirements suggested by Mueller (2000) arc attainable by manipulating the discussed design parameters. The design and development of a testbed capable of accommodating test measurements of the novel sublimating micro-thruster is also presented. The components included in this discussion arc the thrust stand, vacuum chamber system. and the calibration system. The testbed was assembled and initial calibration tests were conducted and arc analyzed.
Thesis (M.S.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 56-59).
xi, 59 leaves, bound 29 cm
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