Open Science Research Excellence

E G Lightsey

Publications

1

Publications

1
8689
Evaluation of a Dual-Fluid Cold-Gas Thruster Concept
Abstract:

A new dual-fluid concept was studied that could eventually find application for cold-gas propulsion for small space satellites or other constant flow applications. In basic form, the concept uses two different refrigerant working fluids, each having a different saturation vapor pressure. The higher vapor pressure refrigerant remains in the saturation phase and is used to pressurize the lower saturation vapor pressure fluid (the propellant) which remains in the compressed liquid phase. A demonstration thruster concept based on this principle was designed and built to study its operating characteristics. An automotive-type electronic fuel injector was used to meter and deliver the propellant. Ejected propellant mass and momentum were measured for several combinations of refrigerants and hydrocarbon fluids. The thruster has the advantage of delivering relatively large total impulse at low tank pressure within a small volume.

Keywords:
cold-gas, nano-satellite, R134a, thruster