Micropropulsion is an enabling technology for microspacecraft operations by making missions possible which otherwise could not be performed. For example, the formation and maintenance of platoons of microspacecraft will require a manoeuvering capability to counter orbital perturbations. Microspacecraft missions involving large spacecraft resupply, repair or surveillance will also require manoeuverability. The mission requirements for microspacecraft will be varied and in some cases a large range of capability might be required on the same spacecraft. Micropropulsion systems must be extremely versatile to address these requirements. It is clear that there is a need for micropropulsion systems from high thrust chemical engines to high specific impulse electric thrusters to fulfill specific missions just as for larger spacecraft. It is becoming increasingly evident that microspacecraft will require efficient propulsion systems to enable many of the missions currently being investigated. The systems constraints on mass, power, maximum voltage and volume with which microspacecraft will have to contend pose several challenges to the propulsion system designer. Micropropulsion concepts that address these limitations in unique and beneficial ways, should be of interest to the microscpacecraft community. Written by leading experts in the field, this new book shows the state-of-the-art in micropropulsion concepts and activities at the early stages in the development of this new and exciting research area.
Publisher: American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics
Number of pages: 491
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