Selection of project structure for nanosatellite propulsion system

Abstract

This paper presents the results of theoretical and experimental research of a prototype of a propulsion system for periodical low-Earth orbit correction of research-and-educational nanosatellites. For that purpose, the prototype is to provide at least 20 m/s relative velocity for a 3U CubeSat with a mass not exceeding 4.5 kg. The personnel and environment safety were taken into account during testing and operation along with the ability to be launched as an associated payload by a “Soyuz”-series launch vehicle or from the ISS. An electro-thermal propulsion system (ResistoJet) was designed with “nonfreezing” mixture of ethanol and distilled water used as the working fluid. It is shown that a standard vehicle power system is capable of initiating one corrective thrust impulse per orbit with flight velocity change of about 0.1 m/s by introducing pulse energy storage units and allocating sufficient time for their charging in the flight profile. The propulsion system prototype was tested in atmospheric conditions. For that purpose shortened “atmospheric” nozzles were used. Testing was carried out using a zero-torque test-bench with high-speed cameras. The measured thrust value was in agreement with the calculated value of 44 mN.

About the authors

I. V. Belokonov

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
Email: ibelokonov@mail.ru

Doctor of Science (Engineering), Professor
Head of the Inter-University Department of Space Research

Russian Federation

A. V. Ivliev

Samara National Research University

Email: ivlievav@mail.ru

Candidate of Science (Engineering)
Associate Professor of the Department of Ecology and Life Safety

Russian Federation

A. M. Bogatyrev

Samara National Research University

Email: a.bogatyrev.19@gmail.com

Assistant Lecturer of the Inter-University Department of Space Research

Russian Federation

A. A. Kumarin

Samara National Research University

Email: alky_samara@mail.ru

Master’s Degree Student

Russian Federation

I. A. Lomaka

Samara National Research University

Email: igormaka63@gmail.com

Postgraduate Student of the Inter-University Department of Space Research

Russian Federation

S. P. Simakov

Samara National Research University

Email: simba1393@gmail.com

Postgraduate Student  of the Inter-University Department of Space Research

Russian Federation

References

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