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Micro-Electric Propulsion (EP) Solutions for Small Satellite Missions

Lappas, VJ, Pottinger, S, Knoll, A, Shaw, P, Lamprou, D, Harle, T, Melly, B and Perren, M (2011) Micro-Electric Propulsion (EP) Solutions for Small Satellite Missions In: 2nd International Conference on Space Technology, 2011-09-15 - 2011-09-17, Athens, Greece.

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Abstract

Electric propulsion (EP) technologies offer performance advantages compared to chemical systems. The implementation of electric thrusters in small spacecraft has been prohibited by the high power demands of conventional thrusters and the complexity of the required power conditioning units and propellant supply system. Advances in micro electronics have made the use of EP on small satellites feasible. Research and development on 3 technologies: 1. Helicon Double Layer Thruster (HDLT), 2. Hollow Cathode Thruster (HCT) and 3. Pulsed Plasma Thruster (PPT) has focussed on characterisation and design optimisation for small, micro and nanosatellite missions respectively. All thrusters operate in differing regimes and display varying degrees of development. Initial characterisation of the HDLT operating with argon propellant shows a maximum measured thrust of 1.7 mN for an operating power of 500 W. The current investigation has demonstrated a thrust of 1.7 mN and specific impulse of 70s at 50W for a HCT operating with krypton propellant. The development of PPTs for the STRaND-1 nanosatellite mission demonstrates the option of utilising EP to extend the lifetime of CubeSat missions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
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Copyright 2008 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.

Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering > Surrey Space Centre
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2012 14:58
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:53
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/26853

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