This is achieved by integrating all components and functionality of the microthruster into a single silicon chip.
Each microthruster can provide a maximum of 1 mN thrust with 5 [micro]N thrust resolution.
A microwave microplasma microthruster
(3MT) design is discussed here to present a printable thruster that is simple, cost-effective, and light weight.
In contrast, Lozano's microthruster design adds little to a satellite's overall weight.
Lozano's microthruster works by a similar capillary action: Each layer of metal contains smaller and smaller pores, which passively suck the ionic liquid up through the chip, to the tops of the metallic tips.
says the microthruster design stands out among satellite propellant systems for its size and low power consumption.
He adds that a small satellite outfitted with several microthrusters could "not only move to change its orbit, but do other interesting things -- like turn and roll.
It has the same size and mass as its predecessor but carries fewer mirrors (845) to accommodate two microthruster
nozzles and 31 optical retroreflectors that enable tracking by the International Satellite Laser Ranging Network.
This year, Hoffman's team made microthruster
nozzles for positioning satellites with a propulsion-induced nudge that Cox calls the "gnat sneeze.
Micronozzles, resonant beam structures, piston valves, and arrays of high aspect ratio structures have been fabricated for space microthruster
MIT will provide control design expertise and microthruster
technology to be used by the satlets to point the antennas.
Other possible roles include pressure and acceleration sensors and satellite microthrusters
, Akinwande adds.