Electrostatic colloidal microthruster for CubeSat satellites

Summary of the technology

University has developed an electrostatic colloidal microthruster for CubeSat satellites using MEMS technology. We are interested in technical and research cooperation with industrial and academic partners in respect to joint development and testing of systems for propulsion and positioning of microsatellites.

BSUIR R&D Department
BSUIR R&D Department

Details of the Technology Offer

Electrostatic colloidal microthruster for nanosatellites, in which an ionic liquid is used as a fuel, providing a thrust of up to 0.2 mN at a total pulse value of 1000 N*s. The power consumption is 15 W. The dimensions of the microthruster are 100x100x90 mm, which does not exceed the dimension of one 1U CubeSat unit.

The dimensions of microthruster make it possible to install it on CubeSat microsatellites with dimensions from 3U to 9U. Low power consumption for the use of an effective electrostatic principle of reactive thrust formation enables to reduce the load on the onboard power supply system of the microsatellite. The generated thrust and specific pulse allow maintaining the orbit of a 3U microsatellite with a height of 300 km for 3..4 years.

The main advantage of the proposed design of the electrostatic colloidal microthruster is the use of an emitter and an extractor made of quartz and monocrystalline silicon using MEMS technologies (photolithography, (plasma) chemical etching). These are the main components of the microthruster responsible for the formation of a fuel torch to generate jet thrust.

The materials used and MEMS technologies allow one to decrease the cost of the microthruster in comparison with the analogues that use heat resistant hard alloys, such as inconel, for the manufacture of similar components – the emitter and extractor. The required processing accuracy of 1..10 microns is achieved through the use of expensive high-precision milling and cutting machines.

Related Keywords

  • SatelliteTechnology/Systems/Positioning/Communication in GPS - Global Positioning System
  • Microengineering and nanoengineering
  • Aeronautical technology / Avionics
  • Micro- and Nanotechnology
  • Ionic Liquids
  • Satellite Navigation Systems
  • Microwave and satellite components (including antennae and amplifiers)
  • Satellite services/carriers/operators
  • Satellite ground (and others) equipment
  • Other satellite/microwave

About BSUIR R&D Department

Our primary activity is scientific research and development in various fields such as electromagnetic compatibility, microwave technologies, microelectronics and nanotechnologies, information protection and speech technologies, telecommunications and etc. For the current moment the institution has more than 300 patents and international partners in more than 70 countries.

BSUIR R&D Department

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