One of NASA’s Grand Challenges is to design more efficient propulsion systems. The decomposing nitrous thruster with a dielectric barrier discharge is only one step away from the simplicity of cold gas thrusters, yet offers a theoretical Isp of 200 seconds – closer to the performance of monopropellant technologies.
The University of Maryland is proposing to use a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) as a means to dissociate N2O. DBD uses alternating high voltage differences between two electrodes to create strong electric fields. One or both of the electrodes is covered in a dielectric, and a gap in between allows gas to pass through. Nitrous Oxide sent through the gap between the electrodes has its free electrons accelerated by the large E-field, and in the process the electrons collide with N2O molecules.
Small spacecraft with low power budgets and small Delta V requirementsMore »
|Organizations Performing Work||Role||Type||Location|
|Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)||Lead Organization||NASA Center||Greenbelt, Maryland|
|University of Maryland-College Park (UMCP)||Supporting Organization||Academia||College Park, Maryland|
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