Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Microelectronics-Photonics (MS)

Degree Level





Adam P. Huang

Committee Member

Magda El-Shenawee

Second Committee Member

William Harter

Third Committee Member

Rick Wise


Advanced Propulsion, Computational Modeling, COMSOL, Heat Transfer, Microwaves, Miniaturization


A gedankenexperiment was considered to compare a hypothetical thruster that used no reaction mass to propulsion methods currently in use. A brief discussion of previous research work done on closed resonant cavity thrust devices was conducted. Using the previous work as a template, a simulation plan was devised. Computational models of resonant microwave cavities were constructed and investigated using COMSOL software. These COMSOL simulations were verified against known analytical solutions using Matlab software as a computational tool. Multiphysics simulations were created to study the microwave heating environment of the resonant cavities. From the COMSOL study outputs, the electromagnetic field magnitude, temperature, surface resistive losses, volume resistive losses, quality factor, and energy contained in the electric field were presented and discussed. The disagreements between the computational model and real-world resonant cavities were also presented and discussed.