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Thrust noise minimization in long-term laser ablation of propellant material in the nanosecond and picosecond regime

Lorbeer, Raoul-Amadeus and Scharring, Stefan and Karg, Stephanie and Pastow, Jan and Pastuschka, Lisa and Förster, Daniel Johannes and Eckel, Hans-Albert (2016) Thrust noise minimization in long-term laser ablation of propellant material in the nanosecond and picosecond regime. Optical Engineering, 56 (1), 011010. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). doi: 10.1117/1.OE.56.1.011010. ISSN 0091-3286.

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Official URL: http://opticalengineering.spiedigitallibrary.org/article.aspx?articleid=2545571


The avoidance of any moving parts in a microthruster exhibits a great potential for low-noise thrust generation in the micronewton range. This is required, e.g., for scientific missions that need attitude and orbit control systems with exquisite precision. Laser ablation propulsion offers the opportunity of permanent inertia-free, electro-optical delivery of laser energy to access the propellant entirely without moving it. New propellant is accessed by ablating the previous surface in layers, essentially damaging the surface with a laser over and over again. The resulting surface properties for different fluences and scanning patterns were investigated for multiple layers of aluminum, copper, and gold. The pulse-length-specific issues of various ablation mechanisms such as vaporization, spallation, and phase explosion are accounted for by the use of a 10-ps laser system and a 500-ps laser system. We show that the surface roughness produced with 500-ps laser pulses is approximately twice the surface roughness generated by using 10-ps laser pulses. Furthermore, with 500-ps pulses, the surface roughness shows low dependency on the fluence for carefully chosen scanning parameters. Therefore, we conclude that laser pulse duration differences in the picosecond and nanosecond regimes will not necessarily alter surface roughness properties.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/106280/
Document Type:Article
Title:Thrust noise minimization in long-term laser ablation of propellant material in the nanosecond and picosecond regime
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Lorbeer, Raoul-Amadeusraoul.lorbeer (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-3674-9796
Scharring, Stefanstefan.scharring (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Karg, StephanieStephanie.Karg (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Pastow, JanJan.Pastow (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Pastuschka, Lisalisa.pastuschka (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Förster, Daniel Johannesdaniel.foerster (at) ifsw.uni-stuttgart.deUNSPECIFIED
Eckel, Hans-AlbertHans-Albert.Eckel (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:15 August 2016
Journal or Publication Title:Optical Engineering
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1117/1.OE.56.1.011010
Page Range:011010
Publisher:Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Series Name:Special Section on Laser Damage III
Keywords:laser ablation vacuum laser matter interaction surface roughness
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space System Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Space System Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Mikroantriebe (old), R - Vorhaben Materialwissenschaftliche Forschung (old)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Technical Physics > Studies and Concepts
Deposited By: Lorbeer, Raoul-Amadeus
Deposited On:06 Oct 2016 16:31
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:03

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