DARPA/MTO/MEMS
Digital Micro-Propulsion Project

DARPA Logo TRW Logo Aerospace Corp. Logo Caltech Logo EDRL Logo

Digital Micro-Thruster Chip


THE DIGITAL PROPULSION "ROCKET CHIP" consists of a three-layer sandwich of silicon and glass. This prototype contains 15 individual thrusters, in the central 3 by 5 array. The gold-colored squares are the silicon nitride rupture diaphragms at the bottom of diverging nozzles. A layer containing cylindrical chambers filled with lead styphnate is bonded to the underside of the diaphragm layer. The bottom layer contains polysilicon resistors that initiate combustion of the fuel.
Digital Micro-Propulsion Prototype Chip on a Penny (580k JPEG)

Copyright © California Institute of Technology, 1999, 2000
Last Updated Tue Jul 20 22:06:41 PDT 1999