Technical note

A new NANOSATs propulsion system: swirling-combustion chamber and water electrolysis

  • Received: 12 January 2018 Accepted: 25 April 2018 Published: 04 May 2018
  • Defined for academic purposes (low budget projects), NanoSats become of interest in the government and industry communities, since the deployment of swarms would able to act as a single orbiting constellation, providing greater coverage and faster update rates than can be achieved using conventional single satellite operations. On the other hand, that accomplishment is hampered by the absence, due to the satellite’s small dimensions, of an independent efficient propulsion system. This paper investigates the potentialities of a swirling-micropropulsion system that would permit NANOSATs to be “propulsive-independent”. This would allow orbital operations, even at very low altitude, and/or increasing also life-times. The propulsion system, patent pending, adopts H2/O2 obtained by water electrolysis, a swirling combustion chamber and a sub-supersonic nozzle to optimize the thrust. The numerical combustion simulations, of the micro-thrust chamber, show that performances are  impressive, in particular if compared to the dimensions, and this would be of benefit in fields such as intelligence, disaster monitoring, CBRNe observation, telecommunications and identification.

    Citation: Angelo Minotti. A new NANOSATs propulsion system: swirling-combustion chamber and water electrolysis[J]. AIMS Energy, 2018, 6(3): 402-413. doi: 10.3934/energy.2018.3.402

    Related Papers:

  • Defined for academic purposes (low budget projects), NanoSats become of interest in the government and industry communities, since the deployment of swarms would able to act as a single orbiting constellation, providing greater coverage and faster update rates than can be achieved using conventional single satellite operations. On the other hand, that accomplishment is hampered by the absence, due to the satellite’s small dimensions, of an independent efficient propulsion system. This paper investigates the potentialities of a swirling-micropropulsion system that would permit NANOSATs to be “propulsive-independent”. This would allow orbital operations, even at very low altitude, and/or increasing also life-times. The propulsion system, patent pending, adopts H2/O2 obtained by water electrolysis, a swirling combustion chamber and a sub-supersonic nozzle to optimize the thrust. The numerical combustion simulations, of the micro-thrust chamber, show that performances are  impressive, in particular if compared to the dimensions, and this would be of benefit in fields such as intelligence, disaster monitoring, CBRNe observation, telecommunications and identification.
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    © 2018 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)
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