Date of Award:

8-2022

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Stephen A. Whitmore

Committee

Stephen A. Whitmore

Committee

David Geller

Committee

Nicholas Roberts

Abstract

This thesis describes and addresses the need for reliable ignition in small satellite hybrid propulsion systems using higher density oxidizers. It describes methods of creating custom 3D printing ABS plastic based filaments that contain small amounts of catalysts. These catalysts lead to a more reliable and energy-efficient ignition of a hybrid rocked propulsion system using catalyst-infused ABS and nitrous oxide and oxygen blend called Nytrox, commonly known as ”laughing gas.” The ”laughing gas” has a higher density and can therefore provide more ”miles per gallon” in a hybrid propulsion system on a small satellite when compared to gaseous oxygen (GOX). The ignition methods of hybrid rocket propulsion systems using Nytrox are compared and contrasted, and the ignition using catalyst-infused ABS as the fuel is tested. The data from these tests are presented and indicate an improvement in ignition energy and latency compared to pure ABS fuel.

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