P17101: RIT-SPEX Gas Resistojet


Project Summary Project Information

Click on the following link for the Project Readiness Package.

Satellites in Geostationary Orbit for long-duration missions in excess of 5 years encounter perturbations to their trajectories over time. These spacecraft perform maneuvers periodically to compensate for drift and orbital decay called "station keeping" maneuvers.

An electrothermal rocket engine is method of propulsion by which an inert gas stored at ambient temperature (cold gas) is released from a pressurized vessel or driven by a pump and heated electrically before being expelled out of a nozzle. Two proven methods of electrothermal propulsion are "resistojets," which use conventional heat exchangers to heat the propellant, and "arcjets," which pass the propellant through an electrical arc to heat the gas.

This type of propulsion system is advantageous for use by long-life satellites since the engines may be small in size, have few moving parts, and do not use combustible fuels. Resistojet and arcjet engines produce less thrust than chemical rocket engines, but are more efficient, do not require ignition, and are easy to store for long periods.

public/Boeing_Logo.png public/SPEX_Logo.png

Project Name
SPEX Electrothermal Thruster
Project Number
Project Family
Aerospace Systems
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Vincent Burolla
Primary Customer
RIT Space Exploration
Sponsor (financial support)

Team Members

Left to right: Phil Linden, Matt Giuffre, David Yin, James Gandek, Anthony Higgins, Dylan Bruce

Left to right: Phil Linden, Matt Giuffre, David Yin, James Gandek, Anthony Higgins, Dylan Bruce

Member Engineering Role Administration Role Contact
Philip Linden Mechanical Engineer Communications pjl7651@rit.edu
David Yin Electrical Engineer Facilitator dxy2771@rit.edu
Dylan Bruce Mechanical Engineer Purchasing dgb2893@rit.edu
James Gandek Mechanical Engineer Project Manager jmg7412@rit.edu
Matthew Giuffre Mechanical Engineer EDGE Manager mjg5623@rit.edu
Anthony Higgins Electrical Engineer Lead Engineer amh8718@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Planning & Execution

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation