Session

Technical Poster Session 6: Propulsion

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

Power constraints, large RF free-space path losses, and system complexity prevent many researchers from fielding novel sensing hardware aboard nanosatellite missions. Access to lower orbits would decrease downlink losses, improve optical sensor performance, and ensure natural de-orbit for inoperable payloads. Conventional propulsion technologies are capable of providing thrust required to maintain a low orbit but increase system complexity and draw power away from sensors. The United States Naval Academy has developed the Water Vapor Independent Satellite Propulsion system (WISP) to maintain orbits as low as 250km. This system utilizes an aqueous methyl alcohol propellant that passively evaporates across a phase separation boundary, requiring no electrical power during steady state operation. Theoretical calculations show that this system of 1U volume (10 x 10 x 10cm) is capable of providing sufficient thrust to maintain 250km orbit for 3U satellite for approximately 30 days.

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Aug 7th, 12:00 AM

Aerodynamic Stabilization with a Drag-Makeup Propulsion Unit for Very Low Earth Orbit

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Power constraints, large RF free-space path losses, and system complexity prevent many researchers from fielding novel sensing hardware aboard nanosatellite missions. Access to lower orbits would decrease downlink losses, improve optical sensor performance, and ensure natural de-orbit for inoperable payloads. Conventional propulsion technologies are capable of providing thrust required to maintain a low orbit but increase system complexity and draw power away from sensors. The United States Naval Academy has developed the Water Vapor Independent Satellite Propulsion system (WISP) to maintain orbits as low as 250km. This system utilizes an aqueous methyl alcohol propellant that passively evaporates across a phase separation boundary, requiring no electrical power during steady state operation. Theoretical calculations show that this system of 1U volume (10 x 10 x 10cm) is capable of providing sufficient thrust to maintain 250km orbit for 3U satellite for approximately 30 days.