Vacuum test of amicro-solid propellant rocket array thruster

Kazuyuki Kondo, Shuji Tanaka, Hiroto Habu, Tokudome Shin-ichiro, Keiichi Hori, Hirobumi Saito, Akihito Itoh, Masashi Watanabe, Masayoshi Esashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


A Ф0.8mm micro-solid propellant rocket array thruster for simple attitude control of a 10 kg class micro-spacecraft was tested in vacuum. The micro-thruster uses boron/potassium nitrate propellant (NAB), because NAB has ignition temperature as low as 500°C, and easily start to burn in vacuum. For a half of the rockets, an ignition aid (RK) was also loaded. Ignition was succeeded in vacuum with NAB + RK and NAB. The maximum impulse thrust of 4.6ˣ10-4 Ns, which is approximately a half of our requirement, was obtained with NAB. Compared to NAB, NAB + RK generated lower impulse thrust. The success rate of ignition was as low as 30%, although RK was used. These results suggest that RK has no benefit for the ignition of NAB, and other kinds of ignition aid should be found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-227
Number of pages6
JournalIEICE Electronics Express
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • MEMS
  • ignition aid
  • impulse thrust
  • micro-propulsion
  • micro-thruster
  • solid propellant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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