In the last decade, CubeSat development has shown the potential to allow for low-risk, low-cost space missions. To further improve the capabilities of CubeSats in large scale missions, a novel micro-propulsion system is being developed at Delft University of Technology. The system is based on a Vaporizing Liquid Microthruster (VLM), which is manufactured by means of Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology. It aims to achieve a specific impulse of 100 s and thrust of 1.4 mN, using water as propellant. This paper presents a status update of the development project. Design solutions are shown to circumvent manufacturing tolerances in the wafer-bonding and sealing of the interfaces of the VLM. Secondly, performance analysis based on a 1D-flow approximation is shown to provide a useful tool to quickly predict VLM performance. Next, a detailed design of the propellant storage tank for the CubeSat micro-propulsion system is presented. Finally, the test plan and test setup for the VLM are elaborated, presenting solutions to determine chamber temperature and pressure without directly sensing it.
|Title of host publication||Space propulsion 2016|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
|Event||Space propulsion - Marriott Rome Park Hotel, Rome, Italy|
Duration: 2 May 2016 → 6 May 2016
|Period||2/05/16 → 6/05/16|