Microelectromechanical propulsion systems for spacecraft
Lemay, Scott A.
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This is a survey of current research on micropropulsion options for very small satellites (less than ten kilogram). The concentration of research and performance evaluations utilize Micro Systems Technology (MST) and Micro Electromechanical Systems technology (MEMS) integrated with existing theories. State of the art methods used for the design and manufacturing of MEMS devices are included to provide a size perspective of microthruster technology. Nine viable microthruster options are presented, including a detailed performance analysis of the Pulsed Plasma Thruster. Exploration of the future role of micropropulsion in space is the influential factor benefiting research efforts on extremely small scale microthrusters. Significant background information on astrodynamics is included to assist the intended reader: a student of Engineering Science with interest in the Aerospace Propulsion Industry.
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