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Small Spacecraft Technology

Film-Evaporation MEMS Tunable Array (FEMTA) for Propulsion and Thermal Control

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Film-Evaporation MEMS Tunable Array (FEMTA) for Propulsion and Thermal Control
Film-Evaporation MEMS Tunable Array (FEMTA) exploits micro-scale effects of surface tension to provide a low mass, low power, and compact multi-purpose solution for both propulsion and thermal control. A one-watt FEMTA unit contains thruster/cooler arrays as large as 10 by 10 elements with a total system dry mass of less than 1 gram and a volume less than 2 cubic centimeters, which includes the propellant tank and valves. The design cooling power of a unit is 10 Watts, while the thrust is tunable up to 200 μN with a resolution of 3 μN. The integrated design eliminates the need for peripheral support other than a low-voltage power supply and signaling. More »

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