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Date of Award

Summer 2007

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering

Department

Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Reda Mankbadi

Committee Member

Dr. David Sypeck

Committee Member

Dr. Laksh Narayanaswami

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to design an experimental apparatus that could accurately test and measure the thrust efficiency of conical shaped microthrusters with varying divergence half angles. The experimental apparatus measured the thrust of micronozzles for various feed pressures in vacuum (to duplicate in space operation) as well as ambient. Calibration experiments confirmed the force measurement accuracy of the setup while gas thrust experiments were used to help determine the most efficient divergence half angle. Thrust results were compared to findings from two separate scientific studies that sought to optimize microthruster nozzles using CFD software.

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