Kyle Godin, a graduate student at Stevens Institute of Technology, has demonstrating a new solid-state thruster for low-cost satellites. His work has now been recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which awarded Godin the Abe M. Zarem Award for Distinguished Achievement in Aeronautics. This development will be of potential interest to citizen scientists, as the press release notes:

Thanks to the development of microsatellites, universities and independents can now launch research craft for tens of thousands of dollars, rather than the multi-million dollar price tags of traditional launches. This new class of satellite is democratizing outer space exploration and offering NASA new opportunities to study little-known regions of the Earth’s atmosphere.

The device which Godin developed is a 1-square centimeter nitrogen-gas thruster. The gas is released by a circuit embedded in a layer of sodium azide. Godin, now a PhD student, developed the thruster while working on his MS in Microelectronics-Photonics at the University of Arkansas.

The full story is here.

Written by Astro1 on February 19th, 2012 , Citizen Science (General), Innovation, Nanosatellites

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