Non-Toxic HAN Monopropellant Propulsion
- Magazine Article
A highly miniaturized, MR-143, green monopropellant thruster was developed for 1N thrust. Testing indicated the initial catalyst bed heater was insufficient. In subsequent development, the thruster was equipped with a more efficient catalyst bed heater. For reliable ignition of the advanced, non-toxic, AF-M315E monopropellant, the catalyst needs to be preheated. This preheat temperature is much higher than what hydrazine thrusters require. Moreover, the combustion temperature of hydroxyl ammonium nitrate (HAN)-based monopropellants is higher than hydrazine, so the catalyst bed heater must be able to withstand repeated soak-back temperatures.