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SPECIAL SEMINAR: Micro-Propulsion Systems for the Next Generation Space Missions
January 30 @ 4:15 pm - 5:00 pm
Many miniaturized satellites have recently been launched and proved the feasibility of distributed space systems in space missions with improved revisit time, the time elapsed between observations by satellites, at an extremely low cost. Most preliminary small-scale satellites such as CubeSat and PocketQube, however, were either not equipped with a micro-propulsion system for its altitude/orbit control or not ready for various space missions due to inherent theoretical performance limitations of space propulsion systems that currently exist as well as limited performance achievement of micro propulsion systems. Not only normal operation of miniaturized satellites but also the next generation space mission using CubeSat/PocketQube will not be feasible without successful downsizing of space propulsion systems and their performance improvement. The seminar will start with general principles of several chemical rockets and difficulties of downsizing of chemical rockets, and report how a chemical rocket was successfully miniaturized including a photolithography process, a MEMS (Micro-electro- mechanical Systems) based fabrication technology, and catalyst manufacturing process as well. Performance of thruster generation and propellant decomposition efficiency of 50 mN class MEMS-based monopropellant micro thrusters will be discussed based on experimental data showing how much performance was improved by using a blended propellant and regenerative micro cooling channels in micro scale thruster systems. This will be followed by an introduction to electrospray micro colloid propulsion, one of space electric propulsion systems, which has arguably the highest specific impulse performance, up to a range of 1,500-7,000 s depending on electric power supplied. The different nature of the working principle of the system and its performance characteristics compared with chemical one will be identified. Pros and cons of chemical and electric propulsion systems will be discussed with inherent performance limitation of both propulsion systems, and a new system configuration for space micro propulsion will be suggested to meet the performance requirement of miniaturized propulsion systems for the next generation space missions, an interplanetary mission of miniaturized satellites.
Dr Jeongmoo Huh currently works in Space Engineering Department in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands as a visiting researcher starting from July 2019. In Delft, He’s working on high energetic gel phase novel propellant development for space propulsion applications. Before joining the group, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL), in the UK from April 2017 to June 2019 participating in an electric propulsion project funded by the EU. The project was about high-performance low-cost disruptive propulsion technology using electrospray colloid propulsion for small-scale satellite applications. There was a consortium for the project and it was composed of a university, QMUL, and three different space-related companies, AirBus in the UK, NanoSpace in Sweden, and SystematIC in the Netherlands. The successful outcome is now on its way to commercialization. Dr Huh stayed in Daejeon, South Korea for about 5 years from Feb 2012, for his graduate course and one year of postdoc experience. He received an M.S./Ph.D. degree in the Department of Aerospace Engineering from
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon in Feb 2016. For his Bachelor’s degree, he studied in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at Korea Aerospace University, Goyang, South Korea, from March 2008 to Feb 2012. His research topic in graduate school was about micro-scale chemical space propulsion for Nano-satellite applications, for which a MEMS(Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) fabrication process was designed and employed, validating successful manufacturing and operation of 50 mN class monopropellant thrusters with the suggested development procedure. As a postdoctoral researcher at KAIST, he also experienced classical size monopropellant, bipropellant, and hybrid propellant rockets and had hands-on experience on its application to sounding rockets, sounding rocket flight testing, and numerical code development for propulsion performance and flight performance estimation. One of his journal papers related to the micro chemical propulsion was selected as the best paper in Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering at 2013 and 2014, and several conference papers related to micro propulsion, sounding rockets, and micro reactors were the best paper awarded and selected for further manuscript work at several international conferences held in the UK, France, Korea, and the US. Overall, chemical and electric space propulsion, sounding rocket systems, MEMS-based combustion and propulsion, and new energetic materials and novel propellants are what he has experienced and where his expertise lies in.