Research Focus Area: Aerospace engineering
Requirements for global communication, earth observation, and space studies, coupled with technological improvements have generated a rocketing growth in the demand for small satellites. A current challenge for small satellites involves the lack of propulsion technology, which is required for orbital maneuvers that would extend the life of a satellite. As part of the micropropulsion and nanotechnology laboratory (MPNL), my research focuses on developing small-scale plasma thrusters that use solid metal as a primary propellant. This type of technology is an electrical propulsion device that produces lower levels of thrust, but they have smaller dimensions than traditional thruster designs.