Linear burn rate of ionic liquid multimode monopropellant

Nicolas Rasmont, Emil J. Broemmelsiek, Alex J. Mundahl, Joshua L. Rovey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Multimode microthrusters are capable of both high specific impulse electrical operation and high thrust chemical operation, allowing a high degree of mission flexibility for small satellites. This technology requires a monopropellant capable of sustaining both modes of propulsion, through catalytic exothermic decomposition (chemical mode) and electrospray (electric mode). Previous research has identified a double-salt ionic liquid consisting of 41% wt. 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium ethyl sulfate and 59% wt. hydroxylammonium nitrate as a promising propellant candidate. The objective of this work is to measure its linear burn rate. The burn rate is measured through pressure-based and high-speed imaging methods in a fixed-volume pressurized reactor across a pressure range from 0.5 to 10 MPa. Its performance is compared to benchmarks 80% wt. hydroxylammonium nitrate-water and nitromethane propellants, both of which show good agreement with the literature. The burn rate of the multimode monopropellant is found to follow an exponential law eb = 5. 35e1.11P between 0.5 and 3 MPa and being approximately constant at 140 mm/s between 3 and 10 MPa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum and Exposition, 2019
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105906
StatePublished - 2019
EventAIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum and Exposition, 2019 - Indianapolis, United States
Duration: Aug 19 2019Aug 22 2019

Publication series

NameAIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum and Exposition, 2019


ConferenceAIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum and Exposition, 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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