Session

Technical Poster Session 10: Propulsion

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

A water-based ResistoJet type propulsion system is designed for its use in CubeSats larger than 6U as an orbital maneuvering system. Designed to be self-contained in 1U, its electrically powered evaporator and high-temperature superheater systems are fed by a self-pressurized liquid water tank, thus characterized by simplicity due to the lack of pumps or external pressurizing systems. Moving parts and the use of toxic materials are minimized.

The analytical and parametric models introduced allow an engineer to introduce the changes needed to adapt the propulsion system to different missions, maintaining efficiency. Steady-state thermodynamic and heat transfer analytical models are used, defining dimensions and materials of the inner components to meet the power and energy restrictions of a typical CubeSat's power system.

A future test plan is presented, taking advantage of the vacuum chamber available in the university. This allows for the characterization and validation of the different propulsion system components. Following the pandemics induced restrictions, our test plan will continue. Conversations for further TRL development are underway.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 7th, 12:00 AM

Design and Prototyping of a Superheated Steam Electric Powered Propulsion System for CubeSats

Utah State University, Logan, UT

A water-based ResistoJet type propulsion system is designed for its use in CubeSats larger than 6U as an orbital maneuvering system. Designed to be self-contained in 1U, its electrically powered evaporator and high-temperature superheater systems are fed by a self-pressurized liquid water tank, thus characterized by simplicity due to the lack of pumps or external pressurizing systems. Moving parts and the use of toxic materials are minimized.

The analytical and parametric models introduced allow an engineer to introduce the changes needed to adapt the propulsion system to different missions, maintaining efficiency. Steady-state thermodynamic and heat transfer analytical models are used, defining dimensions and materials of the inner components to meet the power and energy restrictions of a typical CubeSat's power system.

A future test plan is presented, taking advantage of the vacuum chamber available in the university. This allows for the characterization and validation of the different propulsion system components. Following the pandemics induced restrictions, our test plan will continue. Conversations for further TRL development are underway.