A micro-solid rocket as the propulsion system for 1–10 kg-class micro-spacecraft is proposed here. The micro-solid rocket uses a boron/potassium nitrate pellet as propellant and its total impulse is about 1.5 Ns. Higher total impulse is needed for a propulsion system on small spacecraft to perform advanced space missions such as sample return, formation flight, and active debris removal. To increase the total impulse, it is necessary to increase the propellant mass. However, there is a difficulty in producing new sizes of solid propellant. The author designed a 20–50 Ns-class micro-solid rocket which uses a stack of existing multiple B/KNO3 pellets. The side of the propellant pellets was sealed with epoxy resin to prevent an abnormal combustion chamber pressure rise. As a result, all the propellant was burned without an abnormal pressure rise in all combustion tests.
2016 The Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences