Design and initial testing of a miniature microwave electrothermal thruster (MiniMET)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The feasibility of a low power 14.5-GHz microwave electrothermal thruster was examined through design and experiment. The design was scaled down from previous lower frequency versions developed at The Pennsylvania State University, and it was tested for plasma ignition and stabilization. Adjustments to the functionality of the previous designs were made to improve the tangential swirl of the propellant and subsequent plasma stability. The incorporation of a thick dielectric insert in order to accomplish this improvement caused repeatability and performance problems. Cold flow and hot fire tests were conducted into a vacuum. The hot fire tests were conducted while inputting a maximum of 14.3 W at the maximum mass flow rate of 2.15 mg/s with helium as the propellant. This maximum mass flow rate was limited by the mass flow controller used. The ratio of hot fire chamber pressure to cold flow chamber pressure was used to calculate the chamber temperatures. The ratio reached a maximum of only 1.1, resulting in only slightly increased performance values from cold flow to hot fire. The corresponding maximum thrust and specific impulse achieved by the system assuming an infinite nozzle expansion were 4.2 mN and 197 s, respectively. Recommendations for future designs to improve plasma repeatability and performance are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - 43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference
Pages2918-2928
Number of pages11
Volume3
StatePublished - 2007
Event43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference - Cincinnati, OH, United States
Duration: Jul 8 2007Jul 11 2007

Other

Other43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference
CountryUnited States
CityCincinnati, OH
Period7/8/077/11/07

Fingerprint

microwaves
mass flow rate
propellants
plasma
flow chambers
specific impulse
pressure chambers
magnetohydrodynamic stability
mass flow
inserts
recommendations
thrust
ignition
nozzles
impulses
controllers
helium
stabilization
chambers
adjusting

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Goovaerts, K. M., Bilen, S. G., & Micci, M. M. (2007). Design and initial testing of a miniature microwave electrothermal thruster (MiniMET). In Collection of Technical Papers - 43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference (Vol. 3, pp. 2918-2928)
Goovaerts, Karl M. ; Bilen, Sven G. ; Micci, Michael Matthew. / Design and initial testing of a miniature microwave electrothermal thruster (MiniMET). Collection of Technical Papers - 43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference. Vol. 3 2007. pp. 2918-2928
@inproceedings{698414b6ee41424a960814accf28bf5e,
title = "Design and initial testing of a miniature microwave electrothermal thruster (MiniMET)",
abstract = "The feasibility of a low power 14.5-GHz microwave electrothermal thruster was examined through design and experiment. The design was scaled down from previous lower frequency versions developed at The Pennsylvania State University, and it was tested for plasma ignition and stabilization. Adjustments to the functionality of the previous designs were made to improve the tangential swirl of the propellant and subsequent plasma stability. The incorporation of a thick dielectric insert in order to accomplish this improvement caused repeatability and performance problems. Cold flow and hot fire tests were conducted into a vacuum. The hot fire tests were conducted while inputting a maximum of 14.3 W at the maximum mass flow rate of 2.15 mg/s with helium as the propellant. This maximum mass flow rate was limited by the mass flow controller used. The ratio of hot fire chamber pressure to cold flow chamber pressure was used to calculate the chamber temperatures. The ratio reached a maximum of only 1.1, resulting in only slightly increased performance values from cold flow to hot fire. The corresponding maximum thrust and specific impulse achieved by the system assuming an infinite nozzle expansion were 4.2 mN and 197 s, respectively. Recommendations for future designs to improve plasma repeatability and performance are discussed.",
author = "Goovaerts, {Karl M.} and Bilen, {Sven G.} and Micci, {Michael Matthew}",
year = "2007",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "1563479036",
volume = "3",
pages = "2918--2928",
booktitle = "Collection of Technical Papers - 43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference",

}

Goovaerts, KM, Bilen, SG & Micci, MM 2007, Design and initial testing of a miniature microwave electrothermal thruster (MiniMET). in Collection of Technical Papers - 43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference. vol. 3, pp. 2918-2928, 43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, Cincinnati, OH, United States, 7/8/07.

Design and initial testing of a miniature microwave electrothermal thruster (MiniMET). / Goovaerts, Karl M.; Bilen, Sven G.; Micci, Michael Matthew.

Collection of Technical Papers - 43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference. Vol. 3 2007. p. 2918-2928.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

TY - GEN

T1 - Design and initial testing of a miniature microwave electrothermal thruster (MiniMET)

AU - Goovaerts, Karl M.

AU - Bilen, Sven G.

AU - Micci, Michael Matthew

PY - 2007

Y1 - 2007

N2 - The feasibility of a low power 14.5-GHz microwave electrothermal thruster was examined through design and experiment. The design was scaled down from previous lower frequency versions developed at The Pennsylvania State University, and it was tested for plasma ignition and stabilization. Adjustments to the functionality of the previous designs were made to improve the tangential swirl of the propellant and subsequent plasma stability. The incorporation of a thick dielectric insert in order to accomplish this improvement caused repeatability and performance problems. Cold flow and hot fire tests were conducted into a vacuum. The hot fire tests were conducted while inputting a maximum of 14.3 W at the maximum mass flow rate of 2.15 mg/s with helium as the propellant. This maximum mass flow rate was limited by the mass flow controller used. The ratio of hot fire chamber pressure to cold flow chamber pressure was used to calculate the chamber temperatures. The ratio reached a maximum of only 1.1, resulting in only slightly increased performance values from cold flow to hot fire. The corresponding maximum thrust and specific impulse achieved by the system assuming an infinite nozzle expansion were 4.2 mN and 197 s, respectively. Recommendations for future designs to improve plasma repeatability and performance are discussed.

AB - The feasibility of a low power 14.5-GHz microwave electrothermal thruster was examined through design and experiment. The design was scaled down from previous lower frequency versions developed at The Pennsylvania State University, and it was tested for plasma ignition and stabilization. Adjustments to the functionality of the previous designs were made to improve the tangential swirl of the propellant and subsequent plasma stability. The incorporation of a thick dielectric insert in order to accomplish this improvement caused repeatability and performance problems. Cold flow and hot fire tests were conducted into a vacuum. The hot fire tests were conducted while inputting a maximum of 14.3 W at the maximum mass flow rate of 2.15 mg/s with helium as the propellant. This maximum mass flow rate was limited by the mass flow controller used. The ratio of hot fire chamber pressure to cold flow chamber pressure was used to calculate the chamber temperatures. The ratio reached a maximum of only 1.1, resulting in only slightly increased performance values from cold flow to hot fire. The corresponding maximum thrust and specific impulse achieved by the system assuming an infinite nozzle expansion were 4.2 mN and 197 s, respectively. Recommendations for future designs to improve plasma repeatability and performance are discussed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=36749025774&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=36749025774&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Conference contribution

SN - 1563479036

SN - 9781563479038

VL - 3

SP - 2918

EP - 2928

BT - Collection of Technical Papers - 43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference

ER -

Goovaerts KM, Bilen SG, Micci MM. Design and initial testing of a miniature microwave electrothermal thruster (MiniMET). In Collection of Technical Papers - 43rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference. Vol. 3. 2007. p. 2918-2928