A Micro-propulsion System to Widen CubeSat’s Applications to Security
CubeSats (belonging to the nanosatellite family) are cubic modular satellites of “10 cm sides—1 kg weight”—for each module/unit (the most common are the 3U satellites). Defined for academic purposes (low-budget projects), they 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. On the other hand, the current security necessities (disarmament, terroristic threats and CBRNe control) would benefit of a satellite system easy to be launched and simultaneously capable of quick orbit changing.
In this new scenario, the new nano-pico satellites may become of great interest for their low costs and simplified manufacturing processes.
This paper shows a bipropellant propulsion system, patent pending, that is suitable for micro-thrust chambers and that would permit CubeSats to be “propulsive independent”, in order to operate also at very low altitude and to monitor, if required, sensitive facilities/situations.
Benefits in fields as intelligence, disaster monitoring, climate and CBRNe observation are straightforward.
KeywordsCubeSats Nanosats Orbit changing Micro-propulsion system Swirling combustion chambers Security
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