An Improved Power Processing Unit for Multi-Mode Monopropellant Electrospray Thrusters for Satellite Propulsion Systems


In this paper, a transformer coupled high gain DC-DC converter is proposed for applications in electrospray thruster systems. The proposed converter consists of a two-phase interleaved boost converter, a step-up transformer, and a Diode-Capacitor multiplier. The proposed converter enhances the reliability of the thruster by alternating the voltage across the extractor grids, which ensures the neutrality of the propellant. The paper addresses the grounding issue of the multi-mode thruster, which is pivotal to the successful operation of the propulsion system. A hardware prototype is presented and the theoretical and practical converter gains are analyzed and compared. The converter proposed in this paper is found to be highly modular and scalable in nature, enabling enhanced mission capabilities.

Meeting Name

11th Annual IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition, ECCE 2019 (2019: Sep. 29-Oct. 3, Baltimore, MD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Keywords and Phrases

Electrospray Thrusters; High Gain DC-DC Conversion; Multi-Mode Thrusters; Satellite Propulsion

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2019