Colloid thruster


Colloid thruster
20 μN colloid thruster system.[1]

A colloid thruster is a type of thruster which uses electrostatic acceleration of charged liquid droplets for propulsion. It is closely related to electrospray ionization and other hydrodynamic spraying processes. In a colloid thruster charged liquid droplets are produced by an electrospray process and then accelerated by a static electric field. The liquid used for this application tends to be a low volatility ionic liquid.

Like other ion thrusters its benefits include high efficiency, thrust density, and specific impulse; however it has very low total thrust, on the order of micronewtons. Its primary utility is in very efficient fine control or efficient primary acceleration of small spacecraft over long periods of time.

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