A thruster operable in a chemical mode or in an electrospray mode using the same liquid monopropellant for operation in both modes is described having a multiplicity of a microthrusters made of a catalytic material having a bore therethrough, where, when operated in the chemical mode, the microthrusters are heated to decompose the monopropellant the monopropellant flows therethrough to generate relatively high thrust. An extractor is positioned downstream of the outlet ends of the microthrusters, such that when the system is operated in its electrospray mode the flowrate of the monopropellant through the microthrusters is substantially lower than in the chemical mode and the extractor is energized with an electric field so that ions and droplets are discharged from the microthrusters and accelerated so as to yield a relatively high specific impulse.
S. P. Berg and J. L. Rovey, "Electrical/Chemical Thruster using the Same Monopropellant and Method," U.S. Patents, Jan 2019.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Patent Application Number
© 2017 The Curators of the University of Missouri, All rights reserved.
15 Jan 2019