Masters Theses


"Multi-mode micropropulsion is a potential game-changing technology enabling rapidly composable small satellites with unprecedented mission flexibility. Maximum mission flexibility requires one shared propellant between the chemical and electric systems. A deep eutectic 1:2 molar ratio mixture of choline-nitrate and glycerol ([Cho][NO3] - glycerol) is investigated as a fuel component in a binary mixture propellant for such a multi-mode micropropulsion. Specifically, binary mixtures of the novel ionic liquid fuel with hydroxyl-ammonium nitrate (HAN) and ammonium nitrate (AN) are considered and compared against the previously investigated propellant [Emim][EtSO4]-HAN. Chemical rocket performance simulations predict this new propellant to have higher performance at lower combustion temperature, relaxing catalyst melting temperature requirements and making it a promising alternative. A qualitative investigation of synthesized propellants on a hot plate in atmosphere indicates the AN mixtures are significantly less reactive, and are therefore not investigated further. Quantitative reactivity studies using a microreactor indicate both 65:35% and 80:20% by mass [Cho][NO3] - glycerol to HAN propellants have a decomposition temperature 26-88% higher than [Emim][EtSO4]-HAN, depending on the catalyst material. The results indicate [Emim][EtSO4]-HAN with platinum catalyst is still most promising as a multi-mode micropropulsion propellant. Also, the linear burn rate of this monopropellant is determined to aid design of the microtube catalytic chemical thruster. With the design pressure of 1.5 MPa the linear burn rate of this propellant used for designing the multi-mode propulsion system is 26.4 mm/s. Based on this result, the minimum flow rate required is 0.31 mg/s for a 0.1 mm inner diameter feed tube and 3180 mg/s for a 10 mm inner diameter feed tube"--Abstract, page iv.


Rovey, Joshua L.

Committee Member(s)

Pernicka, Hank
Riggins, David W.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Aerospace Engineering


University of Missouri (System). Fast Track Program
United States Air Force Nanosatellite 9
United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration Undergraduate Student Instrument Project
United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration Marshall Space Flight Center
Utah State University Air Force University Nanosatellite Program


NASA grant M15AA09A


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Characterization of a novel ionic liquid monopropellant for multi-mode propulsion
  • Linear burn rate of monopropellant for multi-mode micropropulsion


xiii, 82 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2018 Alex Jeffrey Mundahl, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11303

Electronic OCLC #