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Selection and Characterization of Green Propellants for Micro-Resistojets

[+] Author and Article Information
Daduí Cordeiro Guerrieri

Space Engineering Department Faculty of Aerospace Engineering Delft University of Technology Delft, The Netherlands
d.cordeiroguerrieri@tudelft.nl

Marsil de Athayde Costa e Silva

Space Engineering Department Faculty of Aerospace Engineering Delft University of Technology Delft, The Netherlands
M.deAthaydeCostaeSilva@tudelft.nl

Angelo Cervone

Space Engineering Department Faculty of Aerospace Engineering Delft University of Technology Delft, The Netherlands
a.cervone@tudelft.nl

Eberhard K.A. Gill

Space Engineering Department Faculty of Aerospace Engineering Delft University of Technology Delft, The Netherlands
E.K.A.Gill@tudelft.nl

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4036619 History: Received December 06, 2016; Revised April 19, 2017

Abstract

The number of launches of nano- and pico-satellites have significantly increased over the past decade. Miniaturized subsystems, such as micro-propulsion, for these classes of spacecraft are rapidly evolving and, in particular, microresistojets have shown great potential of applicability. One of the key points to address in the development of such devices is the propellants selection since it directly influences the performance. In this context, this paper presents a methodology for the selection and characterization of fluids that are suitable for use as propellants in two concepts of micro-resistojet: Vaporizing Liquid Micro-Resistojet (VLM) and the Low-Pressure Micro-Resistojet (LPM). In these concepts, the propellant is heated by a non-chemical energy source, in this case an electrical resistance. In total 95 fluids have been investigated including conventional and unconventional propellants. A feasibility assessment step is carried out following a trade-off using a combination of the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and the Pugh matrix. A final list of nine best-scoring candidates have been analyzed in depth with respect to the thermal characteristics involved in the process, and performance parameters and safety issues. For both concepts, water has been recognized as a very promising candidate along with other substances such as ammonia and methanol.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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