Researchers have designed a new kind of minute satellite dubbed CubeSat that can be maneuvered in outer space with small ruptures of water vapor. Low-price nano satellites and micro satellites, which are extremely smaller than traditional spacecraft, turned out to be more common. Millions of these small satellites may be rolled out to conduct a range of tasks, from environmental monitoring, disaster response, and military surveillance to Internet services and high-resolution imaging.
“They provide a chance for fresh missions, such as constellation exploration and flying that their bigger corresponding items can’t achieve due to economic problems,” claimed a professor at Purdue University in the U.S., Alina Alexeenko, to the media in an interview. On the other hand, to gain their whole potential, CubeSats need micro-propulsion gadgets to give exact impulse bits of low-thrust for commercial, scientific, and military space uses. The latest micro propulsion network utilizes ultra purified water, scientists claimed to the media.
The latest system, dubbed as FEMTA (Film-Evaporation MEMS Tunable Array) thruster, utilizes capillaries tiny enough to control the microscopic characteristics of water, as the capillaries are almost 10 Micrometers in diameter. In addition to this, the surface tension of the liquid keeps it from coming out, even in the blankness of outer space. Triggering tiny heaters situated near the capillaries ends generates water vapor and offers thrust.
In this fashion, the capillaries turn out to be valves that can be switched off and on by charging the heaters. The tech is analogous to an inkjet printer that utilizes heaters to thrive out drops of ink. “Water is believed to be plentiful on Phobos, the Martian moon, making it probably a big gas station in outer space,” Alexeenko further claimed to the media.
“Water is also an extremely dirt free propellant, lowering the jeopardy of pollution of responsive tools by the flow back from thruster plumes,” he further added to his statement. CubeSats are made up of different units, each having a dimension of 10 Cubic Centimeters. In the study, 4 FEMTA thrusters laden with almost a teaspoon of water were incorporated into a 1-unit CubeSat model and experimented in space.