Development of an indirect measurement Micro-to-Milli-Newton thrust balance

Grubisic, A.N. and Gabriel, S.B. (2008) Development of an indirect measurement Micro-to-Milli-Newton thrust balance. In, International Space Propulsion Conference, Crete, Greece, 05 - 09 May 2008. Paris, France, AAAF11pp.


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The performance of an indirect pendulum thrust balance suitable for micro-Newton level thrusters is presented. A design based on a frictionless pendulum with a laser optical lever and detection system makes it possible for thrusters to be mounted independently of the thrust measurement system. This simplifies the process of calibration without having to compensate for electrical connections, flow lines and other equipment. Measurements are not limited by thruster mass and offer thrust measurements down to 80?N. The balance was demonstrated by measuring the performance of two micro propulsion devices; the T5 and T6 hollow cathode thrusters. The T5 generating thrusts from 0.1mN to 1.4mN and the T6 showed thrusts from 0.2mN to 1.9mN.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: thrust balance, propulsion, space, hollow cathode,
Subjects: U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Engineering Sciences > Astronautics
ePrint ID: 72465
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
5 May 2008Published
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2010
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:04

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