DARPA/MTO/MEMS
Digital Micro-Propulsion Project

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Digital Micro-Thruster Chip


Digital Propulsion micro-Thruster chip, after firing in a vacuum. This image shows the central 3x5 array of thrusters, surrounded by 4 alignment holes. The center-to-center distance between the thrusters is 1mm. Of the 15 thrusters, 12 fired successfully, and 3 did not fire (apparently, due to corona discharge effects in the firing circuitry). The 3 unfired thrusters are clearly visible: the brightly reflective intact burst diaphragms in the 1st, 3rd and 4th thrusters from the right in the top row of the 3x5 array. The remnants of the ruptured diaphragms can be seen in the 12 fired thrusters.

Copyright © California Institute of Technology, 1998, 1999, 2000
Last Updated Fri Apr 9 17:03:38 PDT 1999