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Fabrication and testing of an ionic electrospray propulsion system with a porous metal tip array

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4 Author(s)
Li, H.Q. ; Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Courtney, D.G. ; Maqueo, P.D.G. ; Lozano, P.

We report the fabrication and testing of an ionic electrospray propulsion system (iEPS) for maneuvering small satellites in space. Compared with previous ionic electrospray thrusters, our devices have emission tip arrays made of porous metal that ensure more uniform flow and higher currents while maintaining the high power and propellant efficiencies inherent in these devices. Fabrication of the device was realized by MEMS processes and precision die level assembly. Our test shows a thrust of a few μN for the first time in this type of iEPS device.

Published in:

Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Conference (TRANSDUCERS), 2011 16th International

Date of Conference:

5-9 June 2011