Document Detail


Thrust stand for vertically oriented electric propulsion performance evaluation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21133502     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
A variation of a hanging pendulum thrust stand capable of measuring the performance of an electric thruster operating in the vertical orientation is presented. The vertical orientation of the thruster dictates that the thruster must be horizontally offset from the pendulum pivot arm, necessitating the use of a counterweight system to provide a neutrally stable system. Motion of the pendulum arm is transferred through a balance mechanism to a secondary arm on which deflection is measured. A noncontact light-based transducer is used to measure displacement of the secondary beam. The members experience very little friction, rotating on twisting torsional pivots with oscillatory motion attenuated by a passive, eddy-current damper. Displacement is calibrated using an in situ thrust calibration system. Thermal management and self-leveling systems are incorporated to mitigate thermal and mechanical drifts. Gravitational force and torsional spring constants associated with flexure pivots provide restoring moments. An analysis of the design indicates that the thrust measurement range spans roughly four decades, with the stand capable of measuring thrust up to 12 N for a 200 kg thruster and up to approximately 800 mN for a 10 kg thruster. Data obtained from calibration tests performed using a 26.8 lbm simulated thruster indicated a resolution of 1 mN on 100 mN level thrusts, while those tests conducted on a 200 lbm thruster yielded a resolution of roughly 2.5 mN at thrust levels of 0.5 N and greater.
Authors:
Trevor Moeller; Kurt A Polzin
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Review of scientific instruments     Volume:  81     ISSN:  1089-7623     ISO Abbreviation:  Rev Sci Instrum     Publication Date:  2010 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-07     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0405571     Medline TA:  Rev Sci Instrum     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  115108     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
University of Tennessee Space Institute, Tullahoma, Tennessee 37388, USA. tmoeller@utsi.edu
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