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Development of ignition unit for a liquid pulsed plasma thruster

Development of ignition unit for a liquid pulsed plasma thruster
Development of ignition unit for a liquid pulsed plasma thruster
Solid-fed Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPTs) are the only mission employed devices to-date, although they suffer from low-efficiency and lifetime limiting post-ablation effects; oppositely, gas-fed PPTs offer high efficiency (~15 – 50 %) and no contamination; however, they are subject to propellant leakage issues, difficult ignition synchronisation and higher implementation costs. Liquid-fed PPTs require the sub-systems to be revisited to adapt the device to the intrinsic benefits of fluid propellants; it is suggested to use electrowetting to initiate Perfluoropolyether (PFPE) motion under the influence of electric fields. Employing a combination of dielectric materials, locally enhanced electric fields may be manipulated to decrease the ignition voltage and consequently increase efficiency. Preliminary measurements of PFPE bulk breakdown and the electrowetting-tip ignition at the liquid surface leading to reliable ignition voltages of 8.98 ± 0.86 kV are reported. The significance of PFPE motion at the cathode/vacuum interface is discussed and a vacuum breakdown mechanism relevant to the system is hypothesized, based on the MDV vacuum breakdown model.
Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPT), Electrowetting Tip Ignition (ETI), PFPE, Ignition Unit
Dobranszki, Cristian
82fe7440-1617-4258-8260-04a1df727924
Golosnoy, Igor O.
40603f91-7488-49ea-830f-24dd930573d1
Gabriel, Stephen
ac76976d-74fd-40a0-808d-c9f68a38f259
Dobranszki, Cristian
82fe7440-1617-4258-8260-04a1df727924
Golosnoy, Igor O.
40603f91-7488-49ea-830f-24dd930573d1
Gabriel, Stephen
ac76976d-74fd-40a0-808d-c9f68a38f259

Dobranszki, Cristian, Golosnoy, Igor O. and Gabriel, Stephen (2018) Development of ignition unit for a liquid pulsed plasma thruster. Space Propulsion Conference, Barcelo Renacimiento Hotel, Spain. 14 - 18 May 2018. 8 pp .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Solid-fed Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPTs) are the only mission employed devices to-date, although they suffer from low-efficiency and lifetime limiting post-ablation effects; oppositely, gas-fed PPTs offer high efficiency (~15 – 50 %) and no contamination; however, they are subject to propellant leakage issues, difficult ignition synchronisation and higher implementation costs. Liquid-fed PPTs require the sub-systems to be revisited to adapt the device to the intrinsic benefits of fluid propellants; it is suggested to use electrowetting to initiate Perfluoropolyether (PFPE) motion under the influence of electric fields. Employing a combination of dielectric materials, locally enhanced electric fields may be manipulated to decrease the ignition voltage and consequently increase efficiency. Preliminary measurements of PFPE bulk breakdown and the electrowetting-tip ignition at the liquid surface leading to reliable ignition voltages of 8.98 ± 0.86 kV are reported. The significance of PFPE motion at the cathode/vacuum interface is discussed and a vacuum breakdown mechanism relevant to the system is hypothesized, based on the MDV vacuum breakdown model.

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SP2018_117_PA_Christian_D - Version of Record
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More information

Published date: 18 May 2018
Additional Information: SP2018_117
Venue - Dates: Space Propulsion Conference, Barcelo Renacimiento Hotel, Spain, 2018-05-14 - 2018-05-18
Keywords: Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPT), Electrowetting Tip Ignition (ETI), PFPE, Ignition Unit

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422370
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422370
PURE UUID: 6c4e2f65-71e9-4d5e-9d1c-cb25180a7cba
ORCID for Cristian Dobranszki: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9045-4334

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 Jul 2018 16:30
Last modified: 06 Aug 2020 01:30

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