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In Thrust We Trust: A comparison of various thrust-er technologies

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S111, School of Mechanical Engineering

The University of Adelaide

Adelaide, South Australia 5000

Australia

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Propulsion systems are necessary parts of any spacecraft, but the various types are specialised for different purposes. For example, chemical rockets are great for reaching orbit, but once in the vacuum, they are not as efficient as other systems. Hall and ion thrusters are more efficient than chemical thrusters but are complex pieces of machinery with their own issues.

This talk will discuss various thruster types, their benefits and limitations, before discussing the novel pulsed cathodic arc thruster developed by Patrick Neumann as part of his doctoral work at the University of Sydney. Dr Neumann will describe his work, before discussing current work and plans for the future.

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Paddy studied aerospace engineering and physics as an undergraduate, gaining bachelor’s degrees in both from the University of Sydney, which is where he first started working with electric propulsion systems.

During his honours, masters and doctoral work he has refined the system he inherited, from a system optimised for the study of thin film deposition to one that serves as a testbed for thruster prototypes. In his spare time, he enjoys the study of history, brewing, armoured martial arts and as such is an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

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S111, School of Mechanical Engineering

The University of Adelaide

Adelaide, South Australia 5000

Australia

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