FURI | Spring 2019

Scaling a Helicon Plasma Thruster for CubeSat Applications

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Electric thrusters provide high propellant efficiency to give spacecraft the capability of large maneuvers at the cost of a low propellant mass. This project aims to design a compact helicon thruster of an optimized maximum thrust, exhaust velocity, and efficiency on a small scale that can be used for CubeSat applications and other small spacecraft missions. The main milestone of the project is to derive scaling laws that govern all possible design configurations of a wave-coupled helicon thruster. Analyses of plasma dynamics and various design parameters are reviewed as part of the design optimization scheme for the thruster.

Student researcher

Portrait of Mennatallah Hussein

Mennatallah Hussein

Aerospace engineering

Hometown: Cairo, Egypt

Graduation date: Spring 2021