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Proceedings Paper

Laser-ablation-powered mini-thruster
Author(s): Claude R. Phipps; James R. Luke; G. Glen McDuff; Thomas Lippert
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Paper Abstract

We have developed a new type of miniature jet for pointing microsatellites. It is based on laser ablation produced by a multi-mode diode laser. The target is a specially prepared tape with a transparent layer through which the laser light passes and an absorbing layer which produces the thrust. We have achieved specific impulse up to 1000 seconds (greater than possible with chemistry), together with laser momentum coupling coefficients of order 6 dyne/W. The preprototype should achieve 100 dynes of thrust. We will discuss the target interaction physics, the materials science involved in creating the targets, and some of our measurements with the preprototype thruster.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4760, High-Power Laser Ablation IV, (13 September 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.482038
Show Author Affiliations
Claude R. Phipps, Photonic Associates (United States)
James R. Luke, New Mexico Engineering Research Institute (United States)
G. Glen McDuff, New Mexico Engineering Research Institute (United States)
Thomas Lippert, Paul Scherrer Institut (Switzerland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4760:
High-Power Laser Ablation IV
Claude R. Phipps, Editor(s)

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