Micro-heat engines, gas turbines, and rocket engines the met microengine project

A. H. Epstein, S. D. Senturia, O. Al-Midani, G. Anathasuresh, A. Ayon, K. Breuer, K. S. Chen, F. F. Ehrich, E. Esteve, L. Frechette, G. Gauba, R. Ghodssi, C. Groshenry, S. A. Jacobson, J. L. Kerrebrock, J. H. Lang, C. C. Lin, A. London, J. Lopata, A. MehraJ. O.Mur Miranda, S. Nagle, D. J. Orr, E. Piekos, M. A. Schmidt, G. Shirley, S. M. Spearing, C. S. Tan, Y. S. Tzeng, L. A. Waitz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


This is a report on work in progress on microelectrical and mechanical systems (MEMS)-based gas turbine engines, turbogenerators, and rocket engines currently under development at MIT. Fabricated in large numbers in parallel using semiconductor manufacturing techniques, these engines are based on micro-high speed rotating machinery with the same power density as that achieved in their more familiar, full-sized brethren. The micro-gas turbine is designed as a 1 cm diameter by 3 mm thick SiC heat engine producing 10-20 W of electric power or 0.05- 0.1 N of thrust while consuming under 10 grams/hr of H2. Later versions may produce up to 100 W using hydrocarbon fuels. A liquid fuel, bi-propellant rocket motor of similar size could develop over 3 Ib of thrust. The rocket motor would be complete with turbopumps and control valves on the same chip. A key conclusion from the analytical and experimental work to date is that micro- heat engines of this sort do appear feasible. These devices may enable new concepts in propulsion, fluid control, and portable power generation.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jan 1
Event28th Fluid Dynamics Conference, 1997 - Snowmass Village, United States
Duration: 1997 Jun 291997 Jul 2


Other28th Fluid Dynamics Conference, 1997
CountryUnited States
CitySnowmass Village

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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