Clean Combustion Laboratory

TEL:886-3-5712121 Ext.55119 (Dr. Liao's office)

TEL:886-3-5712121 Ext.55176 ( Laboratory ) 

Address:

Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

National Chiao Tung University

Rm. 320, Engineering Building 5, 1001 University Road, Hsinchu 30010, Taiwan

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Pulsed plasma thruster (PPT) mainly consists of electrodes, solid fuel, spark plug, high-voltage capacitor, and power processing unit. PPT operation first involves the sublimation of the fuel caused by the arc fired by the spark plug. Due to the electrical potential difference between two electrodes, the fuel gas turns into plasma discharges, allowing the current to flow through. A strong electromagnetic field induced by the current exerts a Lorentz force on discharges, which in turn accelerates discharges out of PPT at high velocity. Due to its simple configuration and high specific impulse, PPT has been widely used as the major propulsion for many small spacecraft vehicles or satellites. In the past decade, CubeSat became sensation for space research purposes and business applications. The robustness and effectiveness of PPT in propulsion and attitude control make it well suitable for CubeSat applications. Our research is to design and build advanced PPT system for use in CubeSat for various space missions.