Date of Award
Master of Science
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Carl R. Hartsfield, PhD
This research focused on designing an arcjet system with water as the propellant. Previous research developed a compact, reliable, and safe propellant storage and feed system. The goal is to combine the arcjet with the previous tank to achieve thrust and specific impulse characteristics greater than cold gas or resistojet system. This platform features a 1 U, non-hazardous, and sub-kilowatt powered propulsion system for nanosatellites. A simplified analysis of the design predicts thrust and specific impulse greater than can be achieved by cold gas or resistojet thrusters. Testing resulted in oxidation of the electrodes raising concerns about the longevity of the system. Oxidation reduced the reliability of arc initiation in vacuum and negligible thrust measurements. Similar systems resolution to these issues make the system suboptimal for nanosatellite implementation
DTIC Accession Number
Founds, James H., "Design of an Electro-Thermal Nanosatellite Propulsion System" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 5435.