Special Issue "Green Propulsion: Present Solutions and Perspectives for Powering Environmentally Friendly Space Missions"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310). This special issue belongs to the section "Astronautics & Space Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Filippo Maggi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Aerospaziali, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: composite solid propellants, liquid storable propellants; metal fuels; green propulsion, launch systems
Prof. Dr. Paravan Christian
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Aerospaziali, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Interests: hybrid rocket propulsion; metal combustion; nano-sized materials; green propellants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Humankind has largely benefitted from space activities and related technologies. The outcomes of those activities and technologies are currently an essential part of our daily lives, granting us services, safety, rapid emergency response, and scientific improvements. Space industry is substantially growing thanks to new private actors entering the market and leading to cost reduction for launch services and space platform development. This trend, deemed to rise further due to the commercial exploitation of Earth orbits, brings several concerns about the effective environmental sustainability of the space sector. Thermochemical propulsion is considered one of the factors for improvement.

The environmental impact of space propulsion includes short- and long-term effects on humans and on the environment. These are caused by propellant production, handling, storage, use, and disposal, during both normal operating conditions (e.g., exhaust products, tank venting) and emergency situations (i.e., catastrophic launch failure and consequent on-ground propellant contamination).

There is not a rigid definition of “green propulsion,” so under this classification a wide range of research and development activities are gathered. Space agencies and institutions are supporting specific initiatives, development plans, and solutions aiming at improving the sustainability of the space sector in both short and long-term perspectives, in compliance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. NASA’s “Green Propulsion Technology Development Roadmap” and ESA’s “CleanSpace” initiatives represent only two examples of this global cooperative R&D effort in which agencies, industries, and the academy are active actors.

This Special Issue aims to collect contributions in the area of the thermochemical propulsion for launchers and spacecraft operations, focusing on the assessment and on the reduction of the environmental impact deriving from propulsion systems. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Impact evaluation of current propellants and related propulsion technology solutions on environment and involved workers
  • Literature surveys, trade-off analyses, and evaluation studies on green propulsion solutions for spacecraft and launchers
  • Experimental/numerical/theoretical activities related to green propulsion developments
  • Solid, liquid (storable, cryogenic), hybrid thermochemical propulsion systems aiming at improving the sustainability of current and future space industry
  • Peculiarities and relevant aspects characterizing the combustion processes of propellants for green propulsion systems
  • Issues and improvements related to propellant lifecycle (production, handling, storage, disposal, and emergency management)
  • Evaluation of short- and long-term effects of combustion products on environment and humans (e.g. plume, acid rains, groundwater pollution, toxicological effects, etc.)
  • Status advancement/final conclusions of projects, or part of them, concerning green propulsion topics.

Prof. Dr. Filippo Maggi
Prof. Dr. Paravan Christian
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • green propulsion
  • solid propulsion
  • liquid propulsion
  • hybrid propulsion
  • propellant
  • pollution
  • environmental impact
  • space industry
  • clean technologies

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Article
Modular Impulsive Green Monopropellant Propulsion System (MIMPS-G): For CubeSats in LEO and to the Moon
by , and
Aerospace 2021, 8(6), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8060169 - 19 Jun 2021
Viewed by 881
Abstract
Green propellants are currently considered as enabling technology that is revolutionizing the development of high-performance space propulsion, especially for small-sized spacecraft. Modern space missions, either in LEO or interplanetary, require relatively high-thrust and impulsive capabilities to provide better control on the spacecraft, and [...] Read more.
Green propellants are currently considered as enabling technology that is revolutionizing the development of high-performance space propulsion, especially for small-sized spacecraft. Modern space missions, either in LEO or interplanetary, require relatively high-thrust and impulsive capabilities to provide better control on the spacecraft, and to overcome the growing challenges, particularly related to overcrowded LEOs, and to modern space application orbital maneuver requirements. Green monopropellants are gaining momentum in the design and development of small and modular liquid propulsion systems, especially for CubeSats, due to their favorable thermophysical properties and relatively high performance when compared to gaseous propellants, and perhaps simpler management when compared to bipropellants. Accordingly, a novel high-thrust modular impulsive green monopropellant propulsion system with a micro electric pump feed cycle is proposed. MIMPS-G500mN is designed to be capable of delivering 0.5 N thrust and offers theoretical total impulse Itot from 850 to 1350 N s per 1U and >3000 N s per 2U depending on the burnt monopropellant, which makes it a candidate for various LEO satellites as well as future Moon missions. Green monopropellant ASCENT (formerly AF-M315E), as well as HAN and ADN-based alternatives (i.e., HNP225 and LMP-103S) were proposed in the preliminary design and system analysis. The article will present state-of-the-art green monopropellants in the (EIL) Energetic Ionic Liquid class and a trade-off study for proposed propellants. System analysis and design of MIMPS-G500mN will be discussed in detail, and the article will conclude with a market survey on small satellites green monopropellant propulsion systems and commercial off-the-shelf thrusters. Full article
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