Honors Theses

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Nathan Murray

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

AF-M315E is a green monopropellant currently being investigated for use as a potential replacement for hydrazine in low-thrust spacecraft propulsion applications. To support devel- opment e↵orts, a series of hot-fire tests were conducted to assess the performance of AF-M315E in a 1N thruster. Preliminary design and analysis shows an increase in performance versus a comparable hydrazine system. Testing was conducted with a 1N TZM (titanium, zinc, and molybdenum alloy) thruster in late July 2016 in collaboration with the Spacecraft Propulsion Systems o ce (ER23) at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Testing focused on character- izing the transient behavior of the thruster during initial startup. Consistent startup behavior was observed when the thruster catalyst beds had been adequately heated. Thruster response was found to be particularly sensitive to catalyst temperature. Peak thrust levels of 0.6-0.7N were achieved during 1-second firings.

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