Abstract: This study focused on the development of a chemical micropropulsion system suitable for primary propulsion and/or attitude control for a nanosatellite. Due to the limitations and expense of current micropropulsion technologies, few nanosatellites with propulsion have been launched to date; however, the availability of such a propulsion system would allow for new nanosatellite mission concepts, such as deep space exploration, maneuvering in low gravity environments and formation flying. This work describes the design of “dual mode” monopropellant/bipropellant microthruster prototype that employs a novel homogeneous catalysis scheme. Results from prototype testing are reported that validate the concept. The micropropulsion system is designed to be fabricated using a combination of additively-manufactured and commercial off the shelf (COTS) parts along with non-toxic fuels, thus making it a low-cost and environmentally-friendly option for future nanosatellite missions.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).