Faculty Advisor

Blandino, John J.


A model is developed for a hydrazine monopropellant thruster using the COMSOL Multiphysics FEM software package. This model is intended to capture the heat evolution in the catalyst bed and gas acceleration in a nozzle. The complete governing equations are presented including a simplified model for the hydrazine and ammonia decomposition in the catalyst bed using a user defined concentration profile. Results for thrust and characteristic velocity are compared with published test data for a 0.5lbf thruster. While the calculated thrust agreed within an order of magnitude, some discrepancies were found in the characteristic velocity and velocity profile in the nozzle. Due to project time constraints, the reasons for this disagreement with the data and non-physical behavior could not be fully explored, however some possible explanations are presented.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2006


Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering