Technology Challenges in Solid Energetic Materials for Micro Propulsion Applications

Report No. ARL-TR-5035
Authors: Eugene Zakar
Date/Pages: November 2009; 18 pages
Abstract: Micro thruster is a relatively new class of micro propulsion system for micro spacecraft, though there are many other potential uses in power generation, actuation of parts, and micro airborne robotics platforms. Propulsion systems of the same order of size for micro scale vehicle components do not exist, as the level of thrust and the impulse precision required for maneuvering micro scale vehicles in space orbit is deficient. The use of solid fuels in lieu of traditional liquid state fuels is attractive in many ways. Integration of solid fuel on a chip can lead to a miniaturized propulsion system. Single micro thruster and micro thruster arrays have been successfully fabricated using standard micro fabrication technologies. The purpose of this report is to review the development and challenges in solid energetic materials for micro propulsion applications.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: November 1, 2009