MEMS Based Micro Thrust Propulsion System May Help Small Satellites To Reach The Moon

Satellite is one of the biggest creations of mankind. Satellite circling the world gives us enough information according to our demand. Comparative to bigger ones, small satellites are relatively cheap to send into space. But most of the small satellites get stuck in orbit. Whatever the reason is, they can’t travel more. A team at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland has designed a new propulsion system. Researchers believe that, this new propulsion system may help nano-satellites to reach the moon easily.

The new propulsion system is called Micro-thrust. The current prototype weighs 200 grams including its ionic liquid fuel. The system doesn’t burn the fuel like traditional systems: rather it ejects the fuel to create thrust. This helps the satellites gradually picking up speed while in orbit and taking it to its new destination. The researchers estimated that, it would take around 6 months to reach the Moon using micro thrust.


To make the micro thrust propulsion system perfect, what the essential things come are :
i) Miniaturized ion Engines
ii) Electrospray Thruster
iii) Micro-machined Thrusters Chips
iv) Thruster Optimization by Simulation
v) Thruster Characterization
vi) Understanding The Electrospray Process

To know more details about the above essential things, just simply click here.

However, the researcher team hopes that the electrospray thruster will allow nanosatellites to reach other objects near Earth. Plans are ready based on micro thrust propulsion system for few upcoming projects including CleanSpace One. CleanSpace One is supposed to launch three or four years later.

Source : École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Thanks To : Eurek Alert


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