Faculty Advisor

Blandino, John J.

Abstract

The goal of this project was to design and build a laboratory-model, Radio-Frequency Electrothermal thruster to operate at 300 W using a 13.56 MHz RF power supply. The thruster was designed to include an interchangeable nozzle. Two numerical models were created. The first was a 0-D global model based on an energy balance in the discharge and implemented in MATLAB. The second was a heat transfer model generated using COMSOL multiphysics software. Materials and components were selected and purchased for the thruster structure, mounting stand, gas inlet, and discharge cavity. A matching network was required to minimize reflected power in the transmission line. After a review of matching network theory, a circuit analysis was performed to design the network and select components.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2015

Major

Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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