Application of ion electrospray propulsion to lunar and interplanetary missions
Author(s)Whitlock, Caleb W. (Caleb Wade)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Paulo Lozano and Leena Singh.
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High specific impulse electric propulsion systems enable ambitious lunar and interplanetary missions that return a wealth of scientific data. Many of these technologies are difficult to scale down, meaning the spacecraft are relatively massive and expensive. The Space Propulsion Lab (SPL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is developing compact, high specific impulse ion electrospray thrusters which do not suffer from the same sizing limitations. The Ion Electrospray Propulsion System (iEPS) is tailored for small spacecraft and can perform high AV maneuvers. This enables a plethora of lunar and interplanetary missions using nanosatellites, which can lead to substantial cost reductions. The main objective of the research presented in this thesis is to develop a guidance and control (GC) architecture for small spacecraft using iEPS modules for main propulsion and attitude control actuation and to evaluate its performance through simulation. The Lunar Impactor mission serves as the primary case study, and the results offer valuable insight into the design of the propulsion system while validating the functionality of the GC algorithm. These methods are extended in a second case study focusing on exploration of a near-earth asteroid.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. "June 2014." "©This material is declared a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States."Includes bibliographical references (pages 120-123).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.