Design and Testing of PEM hydrolysis system for producing Hydrogen and Oxygen propellants for CubeSat Applications
AffiliationUniversity of Arizona
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CitationKhan, A., Munoz, D., & Ogden, G. (2021). Design and testing of polymer electrolyte membrane (Pem) hydrolysis system for producing hydrogen and oxygen propellants for cubesat applications. Accelerating Space Commerce, Exploration, and New Discovery Conference, ASCEND 2021.
RightsCopyright © 2021 by 2021 by Alyza Khan, Dayannara Munoz, and Greg Ogden. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission.
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AbstractUniversities and agencies, such as NASA, are looking to utilize CubeSats as a low-cost tool for science and research missions. Originally, CubeSats did not have propulsion systems onboard, as they were only used for experimental low-orbit applications that did not require orbital control. As their applications grew from experimental to mission-oriented use, a micro-propulsion system is now needed to facilitate guidance navigation and attitude control (GNAC), especially to go beyond low earth orbit (LEO). The research in micro propulsion systems is growing and several of the proposed systems meet certain mission requirements. However, they have characteristics that make them sub-optimal such as: fuel toxicity, large size and weight, fuel volatility, low specific thrust and delta V, and the need for pressurized storage tanks. All these factors lead to high risk and high costs. Further, there is no optimized propulsion system for the 1U (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) CubeSat design. We propose a propulsion system design for a 1U CubeSat that utilizes a closed Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) system. The system will store water as the propellant storage medium and electrolyze it to produce hydrogen and oxygen gas for thrust generation.
VersionFinal accepted manuscript