MEMS Gate Structures for Electric Propulsion Applications
Field Emissions Cathode (FEC)
- Miniaturized, low-power electric propulsion (EP) systems are of particular interest for attitude control, orbit repositioning, accurate formation- and station-keeping, and primary propulsion on small satellites and spacecraft.
- However, current state-of-the-art hollow cathodes are not suitable for miniaturized EP systems.
- This project seeks to develop a robust, flexible, and efficient FEC using MEMS gate structures and boron nitride as the emission substrate.
- No need for propellant, thus lowering overall system mass
- No need for heaters, thus improving system performance and efficiency at low power
- Semiconductor fabrication techniques, thus lowering cost