2007 Volume 15 Pages 118-120
An entirely new idea of using powdered material as propellant is suggested for the space propulsion system. Since powdered propellant does not need any high pressure system and temperature control for storage in spacecraft, it is very manageable propellant especially for small satellites and deep space probes. Moreover, although powdered propellant is one kind of solid propellant, it has controllability of propellant supply. The thruster we suggest consists of the propellant supply part using electrostatic adsorption and electromagnetic acceleration part. First we performed a fundamental experiment about electrostatic adsorption and showed the usefulness of this propellant supply system. Second, we made an experimental pulsed plasma thruster and compared some performances of thruster using solid propellant and powdered propellant. The thrust measurement instrument was newly developed in order to detect the impulse bit, average thrust and propellant consumption rate simultaneously.