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Center Innovation Fund: GRC CIF

Green Monopropellant Microtube Combustor for CubeSat Propulsion

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

This project developed an alternate structure and alloy to serve as a green monopropellant catalyst. This innovation, a catalytic microtube thruster, is an original design alternative uniquely suited to the packaging and power issues of CubeSats, may have extended life and performance advantages over the current state of the art, and may enable design scaling to larger thrusters.

This project sought to study a catalyst consisting of a unique metal alloy and structure that could be used to ignite and sustain combustion of an advanced green monopropellant. Resistively heated microtubes of alloyed catalytic metal were designed and manufactured. These tubes will be tested under altitude conditions to examine the combustion behaviors of the system. Catalytic activation and deactivation concerns were also to be investigated.

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