Pulsed Plasma Thruster-Assisted Formation Keeping of Nano-Satellites Under J2 and Drag

Fernando Zimmerman
Work towards M.Sc. degree under the supervision of Prof. P. Gurfil
Faculty of Aerospace Engineering
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Multiple satellites performing cluster flight can potentially accomplish the goals of larger and more expensive platforms, benefiting from faster and cheaper construction, which facilitates redundancy and increases the scientific return. Usually used for attitude control, de-orbiting and drag compensation, the use of microPPTs as a primary propulsion system for cluster keeping has not been thoroughly examined. In addition, no work has been reported comparing the performance of microPPTs and the more commonly used cold gas thrusters in maintaining a cluster for long periods of time.

The seminar will present the development of algorithms for long-term cluster flight of nano-satellites flying on near circular low Earth orbits, using either a microPPT or a cold gas thruster as the primary propulsion system. The performance of these two propulsion systems is compared at each stage of the algorithm development, with the main goal being understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each one of the propulsion systems in maintaining bounded cluster flight for long periods of time.

The talk will be given in Hebrew

Wed, 25-06-2014, 16:30 (Gathering at 16:00)

Classroom, ground floor, Library, Aerospace Eng.

Light refreshments will be served before the lecture


Pulsed Plasma Thruster-Assisted Formation Keeping of Nano-Satellites Under J2 and Drag