Electric design of the Power Processing Unit for Pulsed Plasma Thrusters for CubeSat applications.
Sähkötekniikan korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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Space Robotics and Automation
Erasmus Mundus Space Master
AbstractThe opening of space to the private and academic sector has cause a rapid increase in the activities on this field during the last two decades. This movement is known as New Space, where by creating collaborations between governments, private industry and universities is defining what could be the new space race. The use of nano-satellites, in special CubeSats, the creation of more specific missions has risen with them the necessity of more complex subsystems. Odysseus Space Inc in collaboration with the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), decided to create a propulsion system where Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPTs) are targeted as an Attitude Control System (ACS) for CubeSats. Pulsed Plasma Thrusters have a great legacy being the first electric propulsion thruster to flight in space. Nevertheless, PPTs faced an apparent abandonment for the use of more efficient technologies, it has been brought to CubeSats due its robustness and scalability. This work presents different approaches to develop a modular power processing unit (PPU) for PPTs for Cubesats applications, resulting in a functional PPU which meets the tight budget of 10X10X10 cm that conforms the CubeSat Unit standard. Each chapter covers a brief review of the concepts, their analysis and the description of their development while facing the challenges that brings to manage voltages in the order of kilo volts in such small spatial budget. Finally, using a combination of high gain Fly-back and Cockcroft-Walton voltage multiplier topologies for the sparkplug circuit, a main discharge and control circuit are prototyped and tested as part of the PPU, making the baseline for further investigations.
Thesis advisorVannitsen, Jordan
CubeSat, space technology, electric propulsion, PPT, PPU, nano-satellite