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CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION OF PLASMA FOCUS TYPE MPD THRUSTER

Award Information

Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch:
Air Force
Award ID:
15016
Program Year/Program:
1991 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
15016
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
Rockford Technology
912 West Armory Champaign, IL 61821
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1991
Title: CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION OF PLASMA FOCUS TYPE MPD THRUSTER
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $50,000.00
 

Abstract:

THIS PROJECT INVOLVES EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES WITH AN EXISTING 10-KJ GAS-INJECTED PLASMA FOCUS FACILITY INTENDED TO DEVELOP THE DATABASE NEEDED TO DESIGN AND BUILD AN OPTIMIZED 1-MJ FOCUS. THE ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE IS TO DEMONSTRATE THE FEASIBILITY AND ATTRACTIVENESS OF THIS CONCEPT FOR VERY HIGH SPECIFIC IMPULSE SPACE PROPULSION. THE FOCUS CONCEPT EMPLOYS JXB PLASMA ACCELERATION TO GENERATE THRUST IN A MANNER SIMILAR TO THE CONVENTIONAL MAGNETO PLASMA DYNAMIC (MPD) THRUSTER. HOWEVER, THE FOCUS HAS THE ADDED ADVANTAGE OF GENERATING ADDITIONAL THRUST FROM FUSION ENERGY RELEASED DURING THE PINCH PHASE OF THE ARC RUNDOWN. EXPERIMENTS PROPOSED INCLUDE STUDIES OF ELECTRODE DIMENSIONAL EFFECTS, VARIATION OF PERFORMANCE WITH OUTER ELECTRODE FLOW PASSAGE SIZE, AND ALTERNATE GAS INJECTION POINTS. A VARIETY OF DIAGNOSTICS WILL BE EMPLOYED TO MEASURE PLASMA PARAMETERS AND THE NET THRUST GENERATED BY THE ACCELERATED PLASMA. THE DATA WILL PROVIDE A PARAMETRIC BASIS FOR OPTIMIZING THRUST GENERATION AND FOR THE SCALE-UP TO LARGER ENERGY DEVICES. THIS PROJECT CAN DEMONSTRATE KEY TECHNOLOGY THAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR USE IN FUTURE DEEP SPACE MISSIONS. SUCH TECHNOLOGY COULD SIGNIFICANTLY SHORTEN TRIP TIMES COMPARED TO CONVENTIONAL PROPULSION CONCEPTS. THE THRUSTER TECHNOLOGY COULD PROVIDE PRIVATE COMPANIES WITH A MANUFACTURING OPPORTUNITY IN THE FUTURE ANALOGOUS TO JET ENGINE PRODUCTION FOR PRESENT AIRCRAFT.

Principal Investigator:

Olivier Barnouin
Principal Investigator
2173333772

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Rockford Technology Associates
912 W Armory Champaign, IL 61821

EIN/Tax ID:
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No