Masters Theses


"Analytical and numerical investigations of the performance of a series of potential dual-mode propulsion systems using ionic liquids are presented. Chemical bipropellant performance of select propellants is determined using NASAs Chemical Equilibrium with Applications. Comparison of the predicted specific impulse of ionic liquids with hydrazine and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine shows that the ionic liquid propellants have 3-12% lower specific impulse when paired with nitrogen tetroxide. However, when paired with hydroxylammonium nitrate, the specific impulse of the ionic liquids is 1-4% lower than that of hydrazine and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine paired with nitrogen tetroxide. Analytical investigation of an electrospray electric propulsion system shows that if ionic liquids are capable of operating in an almost purely ionic regime, they can provide very high specific impulse (6̃000 sec). The predicted chemical and electric performance data are used in conjunction with system mass estimates to predict the system level performance of three dual-mode systems. Results indicate that the dual-mode systems are capable of producing higher change in velocity than traditional systems for any combination of chemical or electrical propulsion at the cost of time. Specifically, if 80% of the velocity change is accomplished by using electrical propulsion, a hydroxylammonium nitrate monopropellant electrospray system produced 190% more change in velocity than a traditional system consisting of a hydrazine monopropellant and xenon Hall effect thruster. This 190% increase in maximum velocity change comes at the cost 750% more time thrusting for the hydroxylammonium nitrate system"--Abstract, page iii.


Rovey, Joshua L.

Committee Member(s)

Köylü, Ümit Ö. (Ümit Özgür)
Riggins, David W.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Aerospace Engineering


Missouri Space Grant Consortium


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2010


xi, 84 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 66-83).


© 2010 Brian Russell Donius, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Chemical equilibrium
Ionic solutions
Space vehicles -- Propulsion systems

Thesis Number

T 9607

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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