Abstract Title

Two Presentations: 1. Construction and Operation of an Arcjet Thruster and 2. Design and Simulation of a Miniature Hall-Effect Thruster

Faculty Mentor Name

Darrel Smith

Format Preference

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Hunter McCraw - Senior in Embry-RIddle's Department of Physics & Astronomy - gave the Invited URI Oral Presentations at the Academic Program Meeting for the College of Arts & Sciences.

Program Abstracts:

1. Construction and Operation of an Arcjet Thruster

Electric propulsion systems are critical to extending the lifetimes of satellites and other spacecraft. They are an increasingly important area of research for space industry companies looking to offer the longest lifetimes for commercial satellites. Electrothermal thrusters are Electric Propulsion (EP) devices that use electric power (electro-) to generate heat (thermal) which is applied to a propellant. This propellant is compressed in a converging nozzle section, where pressure and heat increase, and then expanded through a diverging nozzle to generate thrust. Electric propulsion systems, compared with conventional chemical propulsion methods, have higher impulse ratings, higher thrust efficiency, better controllability, and longer operational lifetimes. This project focuses on designing, constructing, testing, and optimizing a low-power arcjet thruster device. Through modification of design parameters such as propellant mass flow rate, nozzle shape/length, cathode gap spacing, and electric power levels, the team aims to optimize the performance of the propulsion system. The project presents a simple arcjet that has been constructed and operated to demonstrate feasibility of low-power electric propulsion systems and allowing for the investigation of relevant properties such as thrust and specific impulse. The research results will contribute to the small body of knowledge regarding low-power arcjets of less than 1 kW in power, and their performance.

Poster Presentation

IGNITE Grant Award

2. Design and Simulation of a Miniature Hall-Effect Thruster

Hall-Effect Thrusters are one of the simpler designs of modern Electric Propulsion (EP) systems, with one of the highest efficiency rates. They use a crossed electric and magnetic field to generate the known Hall current from which the device derives its name. Electrons race in a circular pattern around the thruster channel, stripping the propellant gas’ outer electrons from their atomic orbits, thus positively ionizing the heavy atoms. These (now) positive propellant ions are then accelerated abruptly to astronomically high speeds as they are ejected from the thruster. This EP project focuses on research and design for a low-power miniature Hall-Effect Thruster. By simulating design parameters such as magnet type/grade, magnet placement, magnetic field line characteristics, performing cost analysis, etc., the team aims to generate an accurate model in the hopes of efficiently constructing such a miniature Hall-Effect Thruster in the future.

Poster Presentation

IGNITE Grant Award

Location

Eagle Gym

Start Date

3-24-2018 9:45 AM

End Date

3-24-2018 11:00 AM

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Mar 24th, 9:45 AM Mar 24th, 11:00 AM

Two Presentations: 1. Construction and Operation of an Arcjet Thruster and 2. Design and Simulation of a Miniature Hall-Effect Thruster

Eagle Gym

Hunter McCraw - Senior in Embry-RIddle's Department of Physics & Astronomy - gave the Invited URI Oral Presentations at the Academic Program Meeting for the College of Arts & Sciences.

Program Abstracts:

1. Construction and Operation of an Arcjet Thruster

Electric propulsion systems are critical to extending the lifetimes of satellites and other spacecraft. They are an increasingly important area of research for space industry companies looking to offer the longest lifetimes for commercial satellites. Electrothermal thrusters are Electric Propulsion (EP) devices that use electric power (electro-) to generate heat (thermal) which is applied to a propellant. This propellant is compressed in a converging nozzle section, where pressure and heat increase, and then expanded through a diverging nozzle to generate thrust. Electric propulsion systems, compared with conventional chemical propulsion methods, have higher impulse ratings, higher thrust efficiency, better controllability, and longer operational lifetimes. This project focuses on designing, constructing, testing, and optimizing a low-power arcjet thruster device. Through modification of design parameters such as propellant mass flow rate, nozzle shape/length, cathode gap spacing, and electric power levels, the team aims to optimize the performance of the propulsion system. The project presents a simple arcjet that has been constructed and operated to demonstrate feasibility of low-power electric propulsion systems and allowing for the investigation of relevant properties such as thrust and specific impulse. The research results will contribute to the small body of knowledge regarding low-power arcjets of less than 1 kW in power, and their performance.

Poster Presentation

IGNITE Grant Award

2. Design and Simulation of a Miniature Hall-Effect Thruster

Hall-Effect Thrusters are one of the simpler designs of modern Electric Propulsion (EP) systems, with one of the highest efficiency rates. They use a crossed electric and magnetic field to generate the known Hall current from which the device derives its name. Electrons race in a circular pattern around the thruster channel, stripping the propellant gas’ outer electrons from their atomic orbits, thus positively ionizing the heavy atoms. These (now) positive propellant ions are then accelerated abruptly to astronomically high speeds as they are ejected from the thruster. This EP project focuses on research and design for a low-power miniature Hall-Effect Thruster. By simulating design parameters such as magnet type/grade, magnet placement, magnetic field line characteristics, performing cost analysis, etc., the team aims to generate an accurate model in the hopes of efficiently constructing such a miniature Hall-Effect Thruster in the future.

Poster Presentation

IGNITE Grant Award