A passive propellant feeding mechanism for micropropulsion using capillarity

Kurt A. Polzin, Edgar Yazid Choueiri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The idea of using capillarity as a mechanism to passively control the propellant flow in microthrusters is explored. A capillary tube consisting of two different radius sections can be employed to passively 'pump' a fluid within the tube and keep a microthruster continuously supplied with propellant. A simple, one-dimensional fluid model is developed and tested using five different fluids and five different combinations of larger and smaller radius tube sections. Non-dimensional similarity parameters are derived from the theoretical fluid model, and used to transform the dimensional experimental data from a set spanning four orders of magnitude to a set falling within one order of magnitude of the one-dimensional theory. A gravitational correction, based on physical arguments, enables the theoretical model and data set to more closely agree. The resulting experimentally verified scaling laws provide the fundamental tools for designing passive capillary mass feeding systems for micropropulsion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication38th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Event38th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2002 - Indianapolis, IN, United States
Duration: Jul 7 2002Jul 10 2002

Publication series

Name38th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit

Other

Other38th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2002
CountryUnited States
CityIndianapolis, IN
Period7/7/027/10/02

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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    Polzin, K. A., & Choueiri, E. Y. (2002). A passive propellant feeding mechanism for micropropulsion using capillarity. In 38th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit (38th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit).