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Mennatallah Hussein

Hometown: Cairo, Egypt | Graduation Date: Spring 2021
Aerospace Engineering

Scaling a Helicon Plasma Thruster for CubeSat Applications

Mentor: Werner Dahm
FURI: Spring 2019

Electric thrusters provide high propellant efficiency to give spacecraft the capability of large maneuvers at the cost of a low propellant mass. This project aims to design a compact helicon thruster of an optimized maximum thrust, exhaust velocity, and efficiency on a small scale that can be used for CubeSat applications and other small spacecraft missions. The main milestone of the project is to derive scaling laws that govern all possible design configurations of a wave-coupled helicon thruster. Analyses of plasma dynamics and various design parameters are reviewed as part of the design optimization scheme for the thruster.

Other Projects

Helicon Plasma Thruster Design Optimization for CubeSat Applications

Mentor: Werner Dahm
FURI: Fall 2018

Electric propulsion (EP) provides high propellant efficiency to give spacecraft the capability of large maneuvers at the cost of low propellant mass. This project aims to design a compact helicon thruster of maximum thrust, exhaust velocity, and efficiency on a small scale to be used for CubeSat applications and small spacecraft missions. Such thrusters output low impulse for use in CubeSats. Methods of calibration and measuring micronewton-to millinewton-level thrust are reviewed to produce high-quality thrust measurements. Analyses of plasma dynamics, such as verifying plasma generation and magnetic confinement, are discussed as a part of the optimization scheme of the thruster.