A new type of pulsed plasma thruster (PPT) for small satellite propulsion is investigated, of which the most innovative aspect is the use of a non-volatile liquid propellant. The thruster is based on an open capillary design. The thruster achieved a thrust-to-power ratio above 45 μN/W, which constitutes a 5-fold improvement over the water-propelled pulsed plasma thruster, and which is also slightly above the performance of a similarly sized PPT with a solid propellant.
1. Barral, S., Kurzyna, J., Szelecka, A., Rachubiński, H., Remírez, E., Martín, R., Ortiz, P., Alonso, J., Bottinelli, S., Mabillard, Y., Zaldívar, A., Rangsten, P., & Koppel, C. (2014). First experimental characterization of a pulsed plasma thruster with non-volatile liquid propellant. In Proceedings of Space Propulsion Conference, 19–22 May 2014. Cologne, Germany.
2. Rezaeiha, A., & Schönherr, T. (2013). Overview of alternative propellants for use in PPT. In 29th International Symposium on Space Technology and Science ISTS, 2–9 June 2013. Nagoya, Japan.
3. Barral, S., Kurzyna, J., Remírez, E., Martín, R., Ortiz, P., Alonso, J., Bottinelli, S., Mabillard, Y., Zaldívar, A., Rangsten, P., & Koppel, C. R. (2013). Development status of an open capillary pulsed plasma thruster with non-volatile liquid propellant. In Proceedings of the 33rd International Electric Propulsion Conference, 6–10 October 2013 (paper IEPC-2013-291). Worthington, OH: The Electric Rocket Propulsion Society.
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