Development of a monopropellant micro-propulsion device in low temperature co-fired ceramics


Plumlee, Donald G.. (2007). Development of a monopropellant micro-propulsion device in low temperature co-fired ceramics. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

Development of a monopropellant micro-propulsion device in low temperature co-fired ceramics
Plumlee, Donald G.
Artificial satellites--Propulsion systems Microspacecraft Electronic ceramics
Mechanical Engineering
There is a trend of decreasing size in the satellite industry. The smaller size of this new generation of satellites presents new operational requirements including a smaller propulsion system. Current micro-propulsion systems include electrical and chemical devices fabricated in silicon. Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramics (LTCC) is an alternative to silicon that offers the advantages of multi-layered channels, high temperature capability and the ability to embed a variety of catalyst materials. This work describes the development of a planar nozzle and hydrogen peroxide catalyst chamber in LTCC for use as a micro-propulsion application.;Three supersonic nozzle configurations were developed and tested using the LTCC materials system. An isentropic model was generated to determine the overall size of each nozzle and the nozzle curvature was defined using a Method of Characteristics approach. Each nozzle was tested using a cold gas test stand at several pressures. The experimental thrust measurement was compared to the isentropic model and several 3D CFD models. The ideal model predicted the actual thrust to within 25.1%. The 3D CFD model using a Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model predicted the thrust to within 5.9%. A schlieren visualization system was created to further validate the CFD model results. The density gradient of the nozzle plume using the Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model matched the schlieren image of the shock locations in the nozzle exit plume.;A hydrogen peroxide catalyst chamber was modeled and constructed using the multi-layered capability of the LTCC. Four configurations were developed to determine the effect on reactor performance. The device inlet pressure and surface temperature were measured during a constant inlet mass flow rate of hydrogen peroxide propellant. An inlet pressure of 1342 kPa and a surface temperature of 120{deg}C were achieved at a flow rate of 14mL/min using 63% hydrogen peroxide. The multi-layer channel configurations achieved a higher inlet pressure for a given inlet flow rate compared to the planar designs. The multi-layer channel reactors also demonstrated a greater resistance to flooding at higher flow rates as compared to the planar design. The performance of the LTCC catalyst chamber and nozzle indicates that this technology can be used as a feasible micro-propulsion device.
Thesis (Ph. D., Mechanical Engineering)--University of Idaho, July 2007.
Major Professor:
Judi Steciak.
Defense Date:
July 2007.
Format Original:
xxiv, 294 leaves :col. ill. ;29 cm.

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