Volume 7 (2009) Issue ists26 Pages Pb_7-Pb_9
A laser ignition microthruster was developed for microspacecraft propulsion. Small solid-propellant pellets were ignited by a diode laser beam to produce a high impulse from a very small power source. Basic experiments showed that the microthruster produced an impulse of 60 mNs, using 60 mg B/KNO3 pellets ignited by a 1 W laser beam. A space-based demonstration of the microthruster system is planned onboard a microspacecraft named KKS-1, which has been chosen by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency as one of the six small satellites to be launched with the Greenhouse Gases Observing SATellite, which is scheduled to be launched on a H2A rocket in early 2009.