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MEMS-based solid propellant microthruster design, simulation, fabrication, and testing

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3 Author(s)
Kaili Zhang ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Nat. Univ. of Singapore, Singapore ; Chou, S.K. ; Ang, S.S.

A new design concept of solid propellant microthruster is proposed for micropropulsion applications. Modeling and simulation have been performed before the fabrication of the microthrusters using MEMS technologies. At sea level, the predicted thrust magnitudes range from 0.76 mN to 4.38 mN and the estimated total impulses range from 1.16×10-4 N·s to 4.37×10-4 N·s using HTPB/AP/AL as the propellant. In space, the predicted thrust magnitudes range from 9.11 mN to 26.92 mN and the estimated total impulses range from 1.25×10-3 N·s to 1.70×10-3 N·s. Single microthruster, microthruster layers and arrays have been successfully fabricated. Preliminary testing for microcombustion is conducted to verify the feasibility of the novel design. Continuous combustion has been achieved after igniting the solid propellant and successful production of thrust has been verified by the microthruster displacement.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 2 )