A Comprehensive Model for Control of Vaporizing Liquid Microthrusters

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Abstract

This brief presents a comprehensive approach for the modeling of micropropulsion systems based on the vaporization of a liquid. The model combines the analytical and empirical relations derived from extensive experimental analysis and fundamental physical laws. This allows modeling of key parameters, such as mass flow rate, for the entire system comprising a tank to store the liquid propellant, a valve to control the mass flow, and a microthruster that vaporizes the propellant and accelerates it generating thrust. The model is evaluated by a sensitivity analysis considering the boundaries of the modeling space, and it has been tested in a simulation loop demonstrating the attitude control of a nanosatellite using a set of four thrusters. The results of the simulation are used to test the developed model.

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