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The recent advancement in microfabrication technologies has found application in academic, industrial and space programs aiming at the development of small satellites (total mass less than 20 kg). Thanks to the reduction of the total expenditure, space missions such as orbit transfer or formation flying have been extensively investigated, and actual results have shown the need for thrust forces from few μN up to some mN in combination with stringent constraints of mass, volume and power consumption limits. In this context, the micro-propulsion system represents a key technology, and Micro-Electric-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) based microthrusters have been demonstrated to be the most promising one.The present work aims to develop a low-cost microresistojet for micro and nano-satellites orbit and/or attitude control. In particular, the paper reports the final design of a silicon-based water-propellant vaporizing liquid microthurster (VLM) prototype and some of the system engineering novelties faced during the development stage. The VLM composes of an inlet chamber, a set of parallel microchannels as heating chamber, and a planar convergent-divergent micronozzle. Different microchannel geometries and inlet chamber configurations have been designed in order to evaluate their impact on micro flow boiling instabilities. The microthruster has a sandwich structure. The inlet chamber, the heating chamber and the micronozzle have been fabricated using anisotropic wet etching of a silicon substrate coupled with specialty Borofloat 33® glass. The Borofloat wafer was coupled to silicon wafer by thermocompressive bonding, which allowed to …
Publication date: 
4 Jul 2019

Maria Grazia De Giorgi, Luca Francioso, Chiara De Pascali, Antonio Ficarella, Donato Fontanarosa

Biblio References: 
Pages: 1-4
9th European Conference for Aeronautics and Space Sciences (EUCASS), Madrid, Spain