The Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method is used to numerically simulate and design a micronozzle with improved performance. Thrust calculations using the DSMC method demonstrate that the coaxial micronozzles can achieve milli-Newton thrust levels with specific impulses on the order of 45 s using argon in a cold gas expansion. Improved micronozzle designs of coaxial microthrusters are also proposed. Coaxial micronozzles utilizing center-body geometries to exploit pressure thrust show about 140% increase in specific impulse at low Reynolds numbers compared to a traditional converging nozzle.


This is the published version of W. Stein* and A. Alexeenko. 2008. “Application of the DSMC Method for Design of a Coaxial Microthruster Nozzle”. First published as an AIAA 44th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit Paper and is available online at: http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/pdf/10.2514/6.2008-4530.

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