Erik mueller michael white
1 / 28

Microthruster Test Platform Design Presentation II - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Erik Mueller Michael White. Microthruster Test Platform Design Presentation II. Contents. Introduction Problem Solution Sensing Frame Testing Q&A Sources. Microthrusters. Microthrusters produce <1N of thrust ( mN range) Various propulsion systems (standard, mono, ion drive).

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about ' Microthruster Test Platform Design Presentation II ' - hubert

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Erik mueller michael white

Erik Mueller

Michael White

Microthruster Test PlatformDesign Presentation II


  • Introduction

  • Problem

  • Solution

  • Sensing

  • Frame

  • Testing

  • Q&A

  • Sources


  • Microthrusters produce <1N of thrust (mN range)

  • Various propulsion systems (standard, mono, ion drive)

The problem
The Problem

  • Thruster and forces involved are minute

  • Must be rugged and durable

  • Modular design preferable

Our solution
Our Solution

  • Sensing is done through direct thrust measurement using a strain gauge sensor.

  • Thruster assembly is suspended atop a pole

  • Secondary force measurement using indirect thrust plume measurement.

System overview1
System Overview

Indirect Thrust Plume Pendulum Sensor

FM Modulator


Fire Control

Strain Gauge

Amplifier Circuit


Lab View



  • Single pole for the thruster support, grooved bracket w/ clamping system.

  • Material likely to be aluminum

    • Easy to work with compared to steel

    • Strength is more than adequate for the forces involved

Direct force measurement
Direct Force Measurement

  • Strain Gauge

  • Load Cell

  • Signal Amplification

Indirect thrust measurement
Indirect Thrust Measurement

  • Capacitive Plate System

  • Exhaust plume exerts force on a plate

Induced Force


Capacitive pendulum
Capacitive Pendulum

  • Uses electronic principle of capacitance

  • Needle point fulcrums eliminate frictional losses

  • Double pendulum plates eliminate mechanical noise

Modified pendulum quadruple pendulum
Modified Pendulum: Quadruple Pendulum

Signal processing
Signal Processing

  • Series of amplifiers and filters used to measure the change in signal

Signal processing1
Signal Processing

  • Alternatively, use an FM generator per plate

  • Compare frequency shifts to determine deflection.

  • Advantage – more resistant to noise and distortion

  • Disadvantage – potentially more complex


  • The signal processor will tie into a computer, along with the rocket ignition circuitry.

  • Both subsystems will be integrated into a single user-controlled program. We are considering Labview at this time.


  • One rocket test scheduled in the coming weeks to gauge ignition methods & rocket plume

  • Subsequent test once strain subsystem complete.

  • Currently creating and testing software with a load-cell.

Work breakdown structure
Work Breakdown Structure

  • Week 5-6 Subsystem and structure prototype

  • Week 6-7 Electrical circuit schematics

  • Week 5-9 Software composition and test

  • Week 7-10 Final mechanical component fabrication & revision

  • Week 9-12 Assembly, testing, revisions if needed

  • More details on website

Works cited
Works Cited





  • Traceable calibration of the 3-axis thrust vector in the millinewton range, EB Hughes and S Oldfield, National Physical Laboratory

  • Direct Thrust Measurement of In-FEEP Clusters, IEPC-2005-235, K. Marhold and M. Tajmar, ARC Seibersdorf research GmbH

  • Rocket Thrust Measurement For an Estes B6-2 Model Rocket Engine, Peter Hyatt, Jeremy LeFevre, Russell Dibb, Bringham Young University

  • Thrust stand for ground tests of solid propellant microthrusters, S. Orieux and C. Rossi and D. Esteve, Review of Scientific Instruments, Volume73, Number 7, July 2002

  • A Ground Test Rocket Thrust Measurement System, Mary Fran Desrochers, Gary W. Olsen, M. K. Hudson, Department of Applied Science and the Graduate Institute of Technology, University of Arkansas

  • MilliNewton Thrust Stand Calibration Using Electrostatic Fins, Allen H. Yan, Bradley C. Appel, Jacob G. Gedrimas, Purdue University