Session

Swifty Session 8: Propulsion

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

Recent developments in chemical propulsion for CubeSats have been directed away from high flame temperature propellants such as the ionic salts and towards cooler propellants that mitigate thermal management issues. Engineers at CU Aerospace have continued the development of a Monopropellant Propulsion Unit for CubeSats (MPUC), which burns a diluted mixture of hydrogen peroxide and alcohol called CUA MonoPropellant #10 (CMP-X). The propellant was subjected to UN classification tests and has been certified for air transport, demonstrating “little to no reactivity as an explosive in the UN Test Series 1 & 2 tests.” Recent experimental measurements demonstrate that MPUC with CMP-X operates at a flame temperature below 1000 °C, enabling its manufacture from standard stainless steels and avoiding more costly refractory metal components common with HAN-or ADN-based thrusters. Using hardware optimized for ~150 mN operation, a high-Isp test measured 180 s at 174 mN and a high-thrust test measured 450 mN at 154 s. A preliminary 1.5U design provides 1600 N-s total impulse.

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Aug 7th, 12:00 AM

Development and Testing of a Low Flame Temperature, Peroxide-Alcohol-Based Monopropellant Thruster

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Recent developments in chemical propulsion for CubeSats have been directed away from high flame temperature propellants such as the ionic salts and towards cooler propellants that mitigate thermal management issues. Engineers at CU Aerospace have continued the development of a Monopropellant Propulsion Unit for CubeSats (MPUC), which burns a diluted mixture of hydrogen peroxide and alcohol called CUA MonoPropellant #10 (CMP-X). The propellant was subjected to UN classification tests and has been certified for air transport, demonstrating “little to no reactivity as an explosive in the UN Test Series 1 & 2 tests.” Recent experimental measurements demonstrate that MPUC with CMP-X operates at a flame temperature below 1000 °C, enabling its manufacture from standard stainless steels and avoiding more costly refractory metal components common with HAN-or ADN-based thrusters. Using hardware optimized for ~150 mN operation, a high-Isp test measured 180 s at 174 mN and a high-thrust test measured 450 mN at 154 s. A preliminary 1.5U design provides 1600 N-s total impulse.