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Polygence Scholar2023
Shikhar Sahaai's profile

Shikhar Sahaai

Northwood High SchoolClass of 2024Irvine, CA



  • "Revolutionizing Electro-Plasma Propulsion System (R.E.P.P.S.) with Machine Learning and Ionized Liquid Reactions" with mentor Jacob (Apr. 16, 2023)

Project Portfolio

Revolutionizing Electro-Plasma Propulsion System (R.E.P.P.S.) with Machine Learning and Ionized Liquid Reactions

Started May 16, 2022

Abstract or project description

The spacecraft of today have enabled us to travel to destinations that humans never thought we could reach, but the many metric tons of carbon dioxide leave their longevity in question. The end goal of the Revolutionized Electro-Plasma Propulsion System is to discuss theoretical modifications which can be made to optimize the Newtons per kilowatt of Professor Jau Tang’s original electroplasmic thruster by implementing hypergolic interactions between ionic liquids and hydrogen peroxide. Research conducted by Michele Negri and Felix Lauck delves into how when copper thiocyanates are dissolved in EMIM SCN and reacted with hydrogen peroxide, hypergolic ignition is achieved. Our research suggests harnessing specific quantities of the high speed gas produced in this reaction and running it by a gear system, which powers a piston that pumps the coolant, liquid hydrogen and will theoretically save electricity in the cooling department. However, the gas still conserves a majority of its speed and therefore can be rerouted through an exhaust which allows for a second source of thrust in conjunction with the superheated plasma from Tang’s original system. After simulation models were constructed, results yielded the new thruster could generate 44.88 Newtons of thrust per kilowatt, a 60.28% increase from Jau Tang’s original model. Electricity saved by running allocated gas past gear to save electricity in the cooling department was insignificantly minor, staying under 3 Watts when 8.12 Newtons of original 25 Newtons from the reaction was used. Note that this simulation model does not take into account mass of the excess tanks added to the system, but accounts for possible friction throughout parts of the theoretical system.