Accession Number:

ADA478952

Title:

Contamination Study of Micro Pulsed Plasma Thruster

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH DEPT OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2008-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

116.0

Abstract:

Satellite designing trend is progressing towards building smaller satellites. Small satellites require micro propulsion devices for accurate control by the propulsion system. Micro-Pulsed Plasma Thrusters PPTs are highly reliable and simple micro propulsion systems that will offer attitude control, station keeping, constellation flying, and drag compensation for such satellites. As an unfortunate side effect, the plume induces contamination on spacecraft surfaces and may lead to significant problems with sensors and power generation. Solid particulates in the exhaust plume may deposit on spacecraft instrument and the solar array surfaces limiting or reducing the mission capability as well as the lifetime of a satellite. To better understand these contamination issues, a detailed characterization of the exhaust plume is necessary. This research employs PPTs, first developed at the Air Force Research Lab at Edwards AFB, CA, and is being operated in a simulated space environment, at the Air Force Institute of Technology micro-propulsion vacuum facilities.

Subject Categories:

  • Unmanned Spacecraft
  • Manned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE