2008 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2008 - 11th Annual

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TechConnect Summit
Clean Technology 2008

Numerical Modelling and Analysis of the Burning Transient in a Solid-propellant Micro-thruster

J.A. Moríñigo, J. Hermida-Quesada
National Institute for Aerospace Technology, ES

Keywords:
micropropulsion, micro-thruster, multiphysics, slip-flow

Abstract:
The assessment of characterization and feasibility of rocket engines scaled to millimeter size, arrayed onto wafers for the propulsion of small spacecrafts, is closely related to the right prediction of the thermal response of the material into contact with the fluidics and propellant regions. The present work analyses the unsteady response in the gas and solid parts of an architecture of solid-propellant micro-thruster for space propulsion, once the propellant surface has ignited. The modelling follows a multiphysics approach.The results stress that thermal management of the energy released by the combustion process is fundamental to achieve a feasible micro-thruster design. Thermal management drives the temperature at the walls into contact with the hot gases. Discussion focusing the wall temperature and heat losses is addressed in relation with maintaining self-sustained combustion at the micro-scale. Besides, attained efficiency and performance in the firings are quantified.


Nanotech 2008 Conference Program Abstract