Two-Dimensional Micro-Colloid Thruster Fabrication
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
The specific opportunity to be addressed in this research is the exploitation of new scientific understanding about electrospray phenomena and novel micro-fabrication technology for use in new space missions that call for precise, flexible and efficient propulsion. Information gained during the course of this program should enable the production of electrosprays consisting of droplets or ions which will produce thrust in a range of Isp. Combining this with micro-fabrication technology enables the production of highly multiplexed arrays of electrospray sources which can result in spacecraft thrusters suitable for a variety of missions. In particular, the objective of this project is the design, construction and testing of a high thrust density electrospray thruster based on a planar array of individual emitters. The target power level is 20W, and the target efficiency (excluding PCU) is 85%. Performance of the thruster and the associated power supply and control electronics will be verified using a variety of performance tests. In addition, novel techniques will be employed to mitigate any potential deleterious electrochemical effects.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Prof. Aeronautics & Astro
Research Institution Information:
BUSEK CO., INC.
11 Tech Circle Natick, MA 01760
Number of Employees:
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLO
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Nonprofit college or university