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Effect of Resistive and Plasma Heating on the Specific Impulse of a Ceramic Cold Gas Thruster
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0501-0887
Uppsala Universitet. (Ångström Space Technology Centre)
Uppsala University. (Division of Microsystems)
Uppsala University. (Ångström Space Technology Centre)
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2019 (English)In: Journal of microelectromechanical systems, ISSN 1057-7157, E-ISSN 1941-0158, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 235-244Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research and development of small satellites has continued to expand over the last decades. However, propulsion systems with adequate performance have persisted to be a great challenge. In this paper, the effects of three different heaters on the specific impulse and overall thrust efficiency of a cold gas microthruster are presented. They consisted of a conventional, printed resistive thick-film element, a freely suspended wire, and a stripline split-ring resonator microplasma source and were integrated in a single device made from high-temperature co-fired ceramics (HTCC). The devices were evaluated in two setups, where the first measured thrust and the other shock cell geometry. In addition, the resistive elements were evaluated as gas temperature sensors. The microplasma source was found to provide the greatest improvement in both specific impulse and thrust efficiency, increasing the former from an un- heated level of 44 s to 55 s when heating with a power of 1.1 W. This corresponded to a thrust efficiency of 53 %. This could be compared to the results from the wire and printed heaters which were 50 s and 18 %, and 45 s and 14 %, respectively. The combined results also showed that imaging the shock cells of a plasma heated thruster was a simple and effective way to determine its performance compared to the traditional thrust balance method.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 28, no 2, p. 235-244
Keywords [en]
microthruster, HTCC, resistive heating, plasma heating, specific impulse, shock cells
National Category
Aerospace Engineering
Research subject
Military Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8166DOI: 10.1109/JMEMS.2019.2893359OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-8166DiVA, id: diva2:1248889
Available from: 2018-09-17 Created: 2018-09-17 Last updated: 2019-09-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sense, Actuate and Survive: Ceramic Microsystems for High-Temperature Aerospace Applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sense, Actuate and Survive: Ceramic Microsystems for High-Temperature Aerospace Applications
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In aerospace applications, but also in manufacturing, mining, energy industry and natural hazards, high temperature, corrosion, erosion and radiation, challenge the performance and being of hardware.

In this work, high-temperature co-fired ceramic (HTCC) alumina and platinum have been used for a range of devices intended for aerospace applications at up to 1000°C.

The thermomechanics of a pressure sensor was investigated, and the interfacing was attained by wireless powering and reading. However, read range was limited and sensitivity decreased with temperature. Silver, electroplated after sintering, was found to remedy this until it eventually alloyed with platinum.

Copper was electroplated and oxidized for oxygen storage in a microcombustor, intended for sample preparation for optogalvanic spectroscopy (OGS) to indicate extraterrestrial life. Despite delamination, caused by residual stresses, the device operated successfully.

Conversely, pre-firing metallization by integration of platinum wires was studied. Freely suspended, and despite heat-induced shape irregularities, these were found advantageous over screen printed elements for gas heating, and temperature and pressure sensing. By fusing off the wires, spherical tips, allowing for impedance monitoring of microplasma sources in, e.g., OGS, were formed.

Microplasma sources can also be used for gas heating. This, together with screen printed and suspended resistive heaters, was evaluated in a microthruster, showing that plasma heating is the most effective, implying fuel consumption reduction in satellite propulsion.

In conclusion, HTCC alumina microdevices are thermally stable and could benefit several aerospace applications, especially with the complementary metallization schemes devised here.

Future developments are expected to include both processing and design, all with the intention of sensing, actuating and surviving in high-temperature environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 44
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1696
Keywords
high temperature, ceramics, microsystems, aerospace, sensors, thrusters
National Category
Aerospace Engineering Materials Engineering
Research subject
Military Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8743 (URN)978-91-513-0392-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-09-21, Polhemsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, 09:30 (Swedish)
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Available from: 2019-09-04 Created: 2019-09-04 Last updated: 2019-09-04Bibliographically approved

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