Micro-Newton Thrust Stand
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760
AbstractMicro thrusters are needed for: (1) fleets of satellites in closely spaced formation such as TechSat 21; (2) controlling the dynamics of large space structures; and (3) large interferometric spacecraft that require extremely precise positioning. Thrusterssuch as FEEPs, micro PPT and colloids meet the propulsion requirements. To measure their performance, a thrust stand capable of sub micro-Newton resolution must be developed. In Phase I, we have demonstrated the feasibility of such a thrust stand thatcarry up to 30 kg thrus achieving thrust to weight ratio of 3.0E-9. Its unique suspension reduces effects of facility vibrations and alleviates zero inclination requirements while offering frictionless movement. In Phase II the micro-Newton thrust standconstructed during Phase I will be fully characterized with a colloid thruster and a micro PPT if the AFRL provides it for that purpose. It will operate in two modes, the
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