Bogong thruster: clean, green naphthalene

The Bogong thruster uses as propellent clean, green naphthalene. It is designed for attitude and orbit control systems in small satellites. The initial versions are simple cold gas thrusters but we are presently improving performance using nozzles and heated gas to improve both thrust and specific impulse.

Boswell Technologies (BT) has been working with Skykraft Pty. Ltd. and the Space Plasma, Power and Propulsion (SP3) group at the Australian National University to design, fabricate and test the first generation of Bogong thrusters: Bogong 1.0 has been delivered to Skykraft, successfully integrated into their satellite and is now in the USA awaiting launch on SpaceX in early December 2022. An improved version Bogong 1.1 is being constructed for a second flight in mid 2023.

Professor Boswell holding Bogong 1.0

In parallel BT and SP3 are working on the second generation of Bogong which is based on the Cubesat protocol with the thruster hardware taking up about 50% of a 1U Cubesat allowing a high mass of propellent to be added.

Bogong is extremely simple and robust, does not use high pressure gas, does not use highly reactive propellants, such as iodine, and does not use much power.

Bogong 2.0 with have thrusts of a few milliNewtons and specific impulse up to 50 seconds. It has a very high volumetric impulse since naphthalene is a solid which sublimates to provide gas when necessary. The first generation of Bogong thrusters are now available and we welcome enquiries. Boswell Technologies can allow a certain amount of variation in the design and performance characteristics.

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