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Extended Lifetime Low Power Hall Thruster

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Busek Co. Inc.
11 Tech Circle Natick, MA 01760-1023
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Extended Lifetime Low Power Hall Thruster
Agency: DOD
Contract: FA9300-09-C-2002
Award Amount: $745,833.00


ABSTRACT: Busek''s BHT-200 (200W) Hall thruster was flight qualified for the TacSat-2 program and successfully operated in space during 2007. During duration testing conducted at AFRL the BHT-200 was operated for approximately 1800 hours (equivalent to approximately 50% increase ion It/Mw) less than the Phase III IHPRPT Goal of 70% increase in It/Mw. Concurrent with the IHPRPT demonstration test, Busek identified several design modifications in a related Phase II SBIR that lessen the erosion of the dielectric insulators that we propose to investigate. Several emerging Space Test Program (STP), and orbit transfer missions require lifetime in excess of 3000 hours. Therefore, the focus of the Phase II effort is to extend the lifetime of the BHT-200 to >3000 hours making it attractive to a broader range of end users. In the proposed Phase II, Busek will continue with design and operating modifications to the thruster that minimize the impingement of ions onto the insulator surfaces. In parallel, Busek will use optical emission spectroscopy and develop a real time diagnostic for assessing insulator erosion rates. BENEFIT: Based on numerous inquiries received from end users, a long life low power Hall thruster will be attractive for many commercial and government satellites and small satellites for Operationally Responsive Space. A prime example is several Space Test Program (STP) missions where the Hall thruster has been identified as mission enabling. In addition the BHT-200 has been baseline for a standardized propulsion module for ESPA secondary payloads. In this application the BHT-200 could provide 1.5km/second deltas-V to 125 kg payloads. In addition to the propulsion market, the BHT-200 can be adapted for ion cleaning applications.

Principal Investigator:

Bruce Pote
Director, Hall Thruster P

Business Contact:

Judy Budny
Contracts Administrator
Small Business Information at Submission:

11 Tech Circle Natick, MA 01760

EIN/Tax ID: 042881247
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No