Mansur Tisaev

Mansur Tisaev

Postgraduate Research Student

Academic and research departments

Surrey Space Centre, Propulsion Group.


My research project


Nicola Baresi, Harry James Holt, NicolΓ² Bernardini, Xiaoyu Fu, Mansur Tisaev, Yang Gao, Chris Bridges, Andrea Lucca Fabris, Roberto Armellin, Piotr Murzionak, Roman Kruzelecky (2021)Mission Analysis and Design of VMMO: The Volatile Mineralogy Mapping Orbiter

Water ice and other volatile compounds found in permanently shadowed regions near the lunar poles have attracted the interests of space agencies and private companies due to their great potential for in-situ resource utilization and scientific breakthroughs. This paper presents the mission design and trade-off analyses of the Volatile Mineralogy Mapping Orbiter, a 12U CubeSat to be launched in 2023 with the goal of understanding the composition and distribution of water ice near the lunar South pole. Spacecraft configurations based on chemical and electric propulsion systems are investigated and compared for different candidate science orbits and rideshare opportunities.

M. Tisaev, B. Karadag, A. Lucca Fabris (2023)Influence of applied magnetic field in an air-breathing microwave plasma cathode, In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics56(46)465203 IOP Publishing

Abstract The air-breathing electric propulsion (ABEP) concept refers to a spacecraft in very-low Earth orbit (VLEO) ingesting upper atmospheric air as propellant for an electric thruster. This compensates atmospheric drag and allows the spacecraft to maintain its orbital altitude, removing the need for on-board propellant storage and allowing an extended mission duration which is not limited by propellant exhaustion. There is a need for development of a robust, high current density and long life cathode (or neutralizer) for air-breathing electrostatic thrusters as conventional thermionic hollow cathodes are susceptible to oxygen poisoning. An Air-breathing Microwave Plasma CAThode (AMPCAT) is proposed to overcome this issue through the use of a microwave plasma discharge, producing an extracted current in the order of 1 A with 0.1 mg s-1 of air. In this paper, the effect of varying magnetic-field strength and topology is investigated by using an electromagnet coil, which reveals a significantly different behaviour for air compared to xenon. The extracted current with xenon increases by 3.9 times from the zero-field value up to a peak around 150 mT magnetic-field strength at the antenna, whereas an applied field does not increase the extracted current with air at nominal conditions. A non-zero magnetic-field with air is however beneficial for current extraction at reduced neutral densities. A distinct increase in extracted current is identified at low bias voltages with air for a field strength of around 50 mT at the internal microwave antenna, consistent across varying field topologies. The effect of a lowered magnetic-field strength in the orifice region is investigated through the use of a secondary coil, resulting in an extracted current increase of 25 % for a relaxation from 6 mT to 1 mT, and demonstrating the beneficial impact of a locally reduced field strength on electron extraction.

M. Tisaev, E. Ferrato, V. Giannetti, C. Paissoni, N. Baresi, A. Lucca Fabris, T. Andreussi (2022)Air-breathing electric propulsion: Flight envelope identification and development of control for long-term orbital stability, In: Acta Astronautica191pp. 374-393

Air-breathing electric propulsion (ABEP) enables long duration missions at very low orbital altitudes through the use of drag compensation. A system-level spacecraft model is developed, using the interaction between thruster, intake and solar arrays, and coupled to a calculation of the drag. A quadratic solution is found for specific impulse and evaluated to identify the thruster performance required for drag-compensation at varying altitudes. An upper altitude limit around 190 km is based on a minimum thruster propellant density, resulting in required thruster performance values of 𝐼𝑠𝑝 > 3000 s and 𝑇 βˆ• 𝑃 > 8 mN/kW for a realistic ABEP spacecraft. The orbit of an air-breathing spacecraft is propagated with time, which highlights the prescribed orbit eccentricity due to non-spherical gravity and therefore an increased variability in the atmospheric conditions. A thruster control law is introduced which avoids a divergent altitude behaviour by preventing thruster firings around the orbit periapsis, as well as adding robustness against atmospheric changes due to season and solar activity. Through the use of an initial frozen orbit, thruster control and an augmented 𝑇 βˆ• 𝑃 , a stable long-term profile is demonstrated based on the performance data of a gridded-ion thruster tested with atmospheric propellants. An initial mean semi-major axis altitude of 200 km relative to the equatorial Earth radius, a spacecraft mass of 200 kg, 𝐼𝑠𝑝 = 5455 s and 𝑇 βˆ• 𝑃 = 23 mN/kW, results in an altitude range of around 10 km at altitudes of 160–183 km during a period of medium to high solar activity.