Sensitivity study of the implementation of Air-Breathing Electric Propulsion systems as atmospheric drag compensation measures Earth Observation CubeSat missions at Very Low Earth Orbits
Document typeBachelor thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
Placing a CubeSat in Very Low Earth Orbits can prove to be considerably beneficial for satel-lite imagery missions. To consistently benefit from its advantages though, any satellite insuch orbits must compensate the drag force generated by the residual atmosphere or it willde-orbit in a matter of days. Any sort of thruster is therefore required. It can either be a con-ventional propulsion system with on-board stored fuel or an Air-Breathing Electric Propul-sion system, which can collect its own fuel from the residual atmosphere.This project evaluates the performance that both engines would have in a possible VeryLow Earth Orbit Earth Observation scenario and discloses whether the Air-Breathing Elec-tric Propulsion system can be a viable candidate as CubeSat drag compensation system withregards to conventional thrusters.
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