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  • 1.
    Sturesson, Peter
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Science of Command and Control and Military Technology Division, Military Technology Systems Section.
    Seton, Ragnar
    Uppsala Universitet.
    Klintberg, Lena
    Uppsala University.
    Thornell, Greger
    Uppsala University.
    Persson, Anders
    Uppsala Universitet.
    Effect of Resistive and Plasma Heating on the Specific Impulse of a Ceramic Cold Gas Thruster2019In: Journal of microelectromechanical systems, ISSN 1057-7157, E-ISSN 1941-0158, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 235-244Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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