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Proceedings Paper

Reduction in ignition energy for single-shot microthrusters using pulsed-laser excitation
Author(s): William W. Hansen; Siegfried W. Janson; Henry Helvajian
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Paper Abstract

An experiment has been conducted to compare the ignition energy of an existing digital thruster design between a pulsed electrical and laser excitations. A 355nm Nd-YAG pulsed laser is used to ignite the stored lead styphnate propellant charge. Given the device design, roughly 800 μJ is necessary to ignite a 180 μg charge volume with a 90% probability of ignition. This energy value is considered an upper limit. Under equivalent conditions, roughly 2.4mJ of electrical energy is required to ignite the same volume. The digital thruster concept is one approach to provide a valveless, slap-on propulsion capability for small (1kg mass class) and large satellites (1000kg mass class) to help maintain attitude or control the damping of low frequency oscillations in extended surfaces.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2002
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4760, High-Power Laser Ablation IV, (13 September 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.482144
Show Author Affiliations
William W. Hansen, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Siegfried W. Janson, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Henry Helvajian, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)


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

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