Title:
Performance Characterization of a Cold Gas Propulsion System for a Deep Space Cubesat

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Sorgenfrei, Matt
Stevenson, Terry
Lightsey, E. Glenn
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Abstract
One challenge facing the developers of CubeSats that operate in deep space is that magnetic torque rods cannot be used for unloading the momentum stored in reaction wheels. Rather, this task is performed by a system of thrusters. While a wide variety of attitude control thrusters have been deployed on larger spacecraft, there remain very few examples of such systems being used on CubeSats. The upcoming BioSentinel mission, under development at NASA Ames Research Center, is an example of a CubeSat-class spacecraft that requires thrusters for momentum management. A new 3D-printed cold gas thruster was developed for this application. This paper will describe the test campaign that was completed for the engineering development unit (EDU), and will present a variety of preliminary results describing the performance characteristics of the thruster. The test campaign for the propulsion system EDU was carried out in partnership with members of the In-Space Propulsion Branch at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH.
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2017-02
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Paper
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