Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Cold Gas Propulsion; Liquid Pulsed Plasma Thruster; Plasma Plume; Thruster Performance


"The plasma plume produced by a liquid pulsed plasma thruster is investigated using a Langmuir triple probe and a nude Faraday probe. The Langmuir triple probe failed to produce results which are suspected caused by the presence of ionic liquid in the plume resulting in shorting of the probe. The nude Faraday probe is able to record the ion current density which revealed a high level of inconsistency in the plasma plume. Ion current density recorded by the nude Faraday probe had a relative standard deviation of upwards of 100% of the mean value. Controlling the amount of propellant used during each pulse was extremely difficult. Investigating the plasma plume with more complex probes was not done due to the inconsistency measured by the nude Faraday probe and the expulsion of ionic liquid from the thruster which is highly corrosive to metals.

Examining the historical thrust test data performed by the Missouri Satellite Research Team, a revised model with new assumptions was created and resulted in an improvement in accuracy to within 4.5%. The cold gas propulsion system developed over the years had undergone testing which resulted in measured thrust half of what was predicted. Developing a thrust prediction scheme that incorporates the effects of the solenoid control valve decreases the error to between 1-3% depending on temperature considerations. This thrust prediction scheme can be applied to the current design for the NanoSat 8 competition and results in an accurate prediction of thrust"--Abstract, page iii.


Rovey, Joshua L.
Pernicka, Henry J.

Committee Member(s)

Riggins, David W.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Aerospace Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2017


xiii, 103 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (pages 98-102).


© 2017 Jeremiah Daniel Hanna, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11713

Electronic OCLC #