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Títol: Pressurization system development for the Plugim electrospray thruster

Estudiants que han llegit aquest projecte:


Departament: FIS

Títol: Pressurization system development for the Plugim electrospray thruster

Data inici oferta: 24-07-2023     Data finalització oferta: 24-03-2024

Estudis d'assignació del projecte:
Tipus: Individual
Lloc de realització: Fora UPC    
        Supervisor/a extern: Enric Grustan Gutiérrez
        Institució/Empresa: Xiroi Aerospace S.L.
        Titulació del Director/a: Doctor en Enginyeria Aerospacial (UC Irv
Paraules clau:
CubeSat, Electric Propulsion Systems, Electrospray Thruster, Pressurization Systems
Descripció del contingut i pla d'activitats:
Overview (resum en anglès):
The economic and industrial development since the establishment of small satellites has been spectacular. Today, they offer a wide variety of services such as Earth Observation, Communications and IoT, Geolocation and space exploration. Due to this great growth, there are more and more small satellites in orbit. As a result, if their trajectories are not modified once their useful life is over, the probability of collision between them is increasing. For this reason they need a propulsion system to be able to maneuver.
This has implied the need for the search of very efficient propellant systems with the smallest possible size, to implement them in small satellites. In addition, being such a competitive sector, apart from the optimization of space, it is also sought to reduce weight and consumption in order to bring the best technology at the lowest possible cost.
Xiroi's Plugim Electrospray Thruster offers low power consumption, high performance and high thrust density, offering very high efficiency compared to other options on the market. It also uses a more economical propellant compared to the gases used, for example in Hall Effect Thruster (HET). In order to optimize the consumption, weight and volume of the thruster, this project aims to search and develop a simple and functional pressurization system. The most important requirements to be fulfilled by the company are:
- The system must be composed of two tanks and must fit in 0.5U.
- There must fit 550g of propellant in the system.
- The pressure inside the tank should be around
- 50 ¿¿¿¿ (± 5 ¿¿¿¿).
- There should be a way to control the flow of the propellant.
- Theoretical mass flow rate of 4. 4597 × 10¿5 ¿/¿.
Through a preliminary design phase, a total of 5 prototypes have been porposed in order to think out of the box and find innovative alternatives in the sector.
The most developed designs are prototypes 1, 3 and 5, which are based on a spring mechanism, a constant force mechanism and a toothed mechanism system, respectively. For each prototype configuration an experiment has been carried out without exerting pressure, with the aim of obtaining the mass flow due to the force of gravity and subsequently being able to compare it with the results by applying the corresponding system.
Prototypes 3 and 5 are the most optimistic to reach a final version. On the one hand, the constant force mechanism has achieved a mass flow of 1 g/s higher than that obtained by gravity. On the other hand, although we have not been able to test the toothed mechanism due to printing problems, we have investigated and studied the operation and location of the gears for correct operation.
Finally, simple and innovative prototypes have been achieved, thus fulfilling part of the objectives. On the other hand, experimentally it has been difficult to reach the pressure and mass flow requirements due to highly precise values and the limited resolution of the 3D prints. Nevertheless, the results have helped to make great advances in Xiroi's thruster that allow further development of the pressurization system, establishing a base on which to work and iterate.

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