Water Electrolysis Propulsion For Cube and Nanosatellites

Masterthesis, Bachelorthesis, Advanced Design Project (ADP)

Background

Current in-space propulsion systems make use of storable propellants, which have the advantage of being storable and hypergolic but are highly toxic and have a moderate performance. The search for new cleaner concepts has identified that of water electrolysis as a possible way forward. Current research in industry is focused on thruster and electrolyser development. The main hurdle to application is however the system complexity. This Masters thesis will look into the concept and design one for cube and nanosatellites, and including a de-orbiting as one possible application of such a propulsion system.

Tasks:

  • System modelling and parameter optimization of a water electrolysis propulsion system.
  • The identification of the main failure modes in satellites and main system and conceptual design of sensor architectures to monitor in health of the propulsion system.
  • The conceptual design of de-orbiting kit based on water electrolysis propulsion.
  • Experimental development of a water electrolysis system on cubesat scale.

Focus

  • Analytical
  • Design