Thrust stand based on a single point load cell for impulse measurements from plasma thrusters

Conde Lopez, Luis and Lahoz, M.D. and Grabulosa, J. and Hernández, Rodrigo and González Muñoz, J. and Delgado, M. and Damba, Julius (2020). Thrust stand based on a single point load cell for impulse measurements from plasma thrusters. "Review of Scientific Instruments", v. 91 (n. 2); ISSN 0034-6748. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5127189.

Description

Title: Thrust stand based on a single point load cell for impulse measurements from plasma thrusters
Author/s:
  • Conde Lopez, Luis
  • Lahoz, M.D.
  • Grabulosa, J.
  • Hernández, Rodrigo
  • González Muñoz, J.
  • Delgado, M.
  • Damba, Julius
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Review of Scientific Instruments
Date: February 2020
ISSN: 0034-6748
Volume: 91
Subjects:
Faculty: E.T.S. de Ingeniería Aeronáutica y del Espacio (UPM)
Department: Física Aplicada a las Ingenierías Aeronáutica y Naval
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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Abstract

We introduce a simple thrust stand for the direct measurement of the millinewton impulses or thrusts delivered by small thrusters intended for in-space electric propulsion. The thruster under test, with a weight below 1.5 kg, is disposed on a horizontal platform and its impulse is measured as an overweight by using a strain gauge cell physically protected from the ambient plasma and vacuum conditions. This system provides ten thrust readings per second with noise peak to peak amplitudes of 0.10?0.18 mN. The calibration procedures to verify its dynamic response to time-dependent thrusts in the range 0?15 mN using control weights as well as its minimum thrust sensitivity ?Ts = 0.3 mN are discussed. Additionally, its simple conception permits a plain data reduction and analysis of steady state and low frequency thrust transients. This thrust stand was employed under low pressure and plasma ambient conditions to measure the steady impulses delivered by the Alternative Low Power Hybrid Ion Engine (ALPHIE) of 0.4?4.0 mN with absolute errors ?T = ±0.3 mN. Finally, the experimental results show that a control electric voltage governs the ALPHIE thruster throttle.

Funding Projects

TypeCodeAcronymLeaderTitle
Government of SpainRT2018-094409-B-100UnspecifiedUnspecifiedPlasma jet diagnostics and thrust from low power hybrid plasma engines for space propulsion (caracterización de los chorros de plasma y elempuje producidos por motores por plasma híbridos de baja potencia para propulsión espacial)

More information

Item ID: 58284
DC Identifier: https://oa.upm.es/58284/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:58284
DOI: 10.1063/1.5127189
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5127189
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 17 Dec 2021 12:00
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2021 12:00
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