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Proceedings Paper

Computational survey of representative energetic materials as propellants for microthruster applications
Author(s): Brian Fuchs; Daniel Stec
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Paper Abstract

Microthrusters are critical for the development of terrestrial micromissiles and nano air vehicles for reconnaissance, surveillance, and sensor emplacement. With the maturation of MEMS manufacturing technology, the physical components of the thrusters can be readily fabricated. The thruster type that is the most straightforward is chemical combustion of a propellant that is ignited by a heating element giving a single shot thrust. Arrays of MEMS manufactured thrusters can be ganged to give multiple firings. The basic model for such a system is a solid rocket motor. The desired elements for the propellant of a chemical thruster are high specific impulse (Isp), high temperature and pressure, and low molecular weight combustion gases. Since the combustion chamber of a microthruster is extremely small, the propellant material must be able to ignite, sustain and complete its burn inside the chamber. The propellant can be either a solid or a liquid. There are a large number of energetic materials available as candidates for a propellant for microthrusters. There has been no systematic evaluation of the available energetic materials as propellant candidates for microthrusters. This report summarizes computations done on a series of energetic materials to address their suitabilities as microthruster propellants.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 May 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6556, Micro (MEMS) and Nanotechnologies for Defense and Security, 65561B (3 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.721756
Show Author Affiliations
Brian Fuchs, U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Daniel Stec, SAIC (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6556:
Micro (MEMS) and Nanotechnologies for Defense and Security
Thomas George; Zhongyang Cheng, Editor(s)

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