## Session

Technical Session X: Propulsion

## Abstract

Over the past three years, a team at The Aerospace Corporation has been investigating high Delta-V solid rocket motor propulsion systems for CubeSats. All solid rocket motors have an unknown thrust misalignment. Therefore, any vehicle propelled by a solid rocket motor must include an attitude control system (ACS) capable of dealing with the torque generated by this thrust misalignment. We have designed and flight-tested two solid rocket motor thrust vector control (TVC) systems that provide the means for an ACS to null the thrust misalignment of a small solid rocket motor and allow the CubeSat to be steered while accelerating. The two TVC systems use completely different approaches -- one is a moving mass system, the other is a nozzle jet paddle system. The TVC systems can be combined with a small solid (or liquid) rocket motor to provide a 1U (a 10 cm cube) x 1 kg propulsion unit that can be attached to a 1 kg CubeSat and provide up to 950 m/s of Delta-V. The propulsion systems are highly scalable and can be designed to provide smaller or larger amounts of Delta-V as desired. A 2U (a 20 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm cuboid) x 2.5 kg propulsion unit attached to a 1 kg CubeSat can provide up to 1400 m/s of Delta-V. The proof-of-concept designs and flight tests of these propulsion systems are presented.

CubeSat Solid Rocket Motor Propulsion Systems providing Delta-Vs greater than 500 m/s

Over the past three years, a team at The Aerospace Corporation has been investigating high Delta-V solid rocket motor propulsion systems for CubeSats. All solid rocket motors have an unknown thrust misalignment. Therefore, any vehicle propelled by a solid rocket motor must include an attitude control system (ACS) capable of dealing with the torque generated by this thrust misalignment. We have designed and flight-tested two solid rocket motor thrust vector control (TVC) systems that provide the means for an ACS to null the thrust misalignment of a small solid rocket motor and allow the CubeSat to be steered while accelerating. The two TVC systems use completely different approaches -- one is a moving mass system, the other is a nozzle jet paddle system. The TVC systems can be combined with a small solid (or liquid) rocket motor to provide a 1U (a 10 cm cube) x 1 kg propulsion unit that can be attached to a 1 kg CubeSat and provide up to 950 m/s of Delta-V. The propulsion systems are highly scalable and can be designed to provide smaller or larger amounts of Delta-V as desired. A 2U (a 20 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm cuboid) x 2.5 kg propulsion unit attached to a 1 kg CubeSat can provide up to 1400 m/s of Delta-V. The proof-of-concept designs and flight tests of these propulsion systems are presented.