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An analytical model of a silicon MEMS vaporizing liquid microthruster and some experimental studies

Maurya, D. K. and Das, S and Lahiri, S. K. (2005) An analytical model of a silicon MEMS vaporizing liquid microthruster and some experimental studies. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 122 (1). 159 - 166.

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A recent application of the MEMS technology is in the field of microthrusters for micro/nano satellites. A silicon MEMS vaporizing liquid microthruster (VLM) produces continuously variable thrust in the range from μN to mN. The theoretical simulation of a VLM involves complex numerical 3D micro-fluidic, thermodynamic and electro-thermal solutions. A fast analytical method is, however, desirable in the initial phase of development of a VLM. In this paper, a simple analytical model of a VLM is presented. The model is based on one-dimensional approximations for fluid-dynamical and heat-flow equations. VLMs are fabricated by bonding two micromachined silicon chips. The device consists of a microcavity, an inlet nozzle, an exit nozzle, a microchannel and an internal p-diffused resistor for heating. The thrust is measured by a sensitive cantilever and a laser based lamp-and-scale arrangement. The experimental results on the variation of thrust with heater power are interpreted with the help of the theoretical model. A novel iterative computation is performed to extract the chamber temperature and other important parameters corresponding to the measured values of thrust for different values of heater power. The model gives some physical insight into the operation of the VLM.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:SSSAMW 04 - Special Section of the Micromechanics Section of Sensors and Actuators based on contributions revised from the Technical Digest of the 2004 Solid-State Sensor, Actuator and Microsystems Workshop.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microthruster; Micro/nano satellites; Diffused heater; Micromachining; Nozzle
Subjects:Analytical Science > Nanotechnology for sensing and actuating
Engineering > Nanotechnology applications in ICT
ID Code:4660
Deposited By:SPI
Deposited On:08 Apr 2009 17:29
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 17:29

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