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Compact, Lightweight, High Voltage Propellant Isolators

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Technology Assessment & Transfer, Inc.
133 Defense Highway, Suite 212 Annapolis, MD 21401-
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: Compact, Lightweight, High Voltage Propellant Isolators
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNC05CA13C
Award Amount: $595,875.00


TA&T, Inc. proposes an enabling fabrication process for high voltage isolators required in high power solar electric and nuclear electric propulsion (SEP and NEP, respectively). Future high thrust, high specific impulse engines will have to support beam voltages up to 10kV to meet performance requirements. If existing isolator designs are simply scaled-up for higher voltages, then a significant mass penalty is incurred. The proposed fabrication approach, known as ceramic stereolithography (CSL), is an automated, layered manufacturing process that enables net shape, monolithic ceramics with complex geometry. The Phase I effort successfully demonstrated fabrication and high voltage testing of three prototype isolator designs that would be very difficult to fabricate using conventional ceramic processing. The Phase II objectives include refinement of the CSL process to the point where it is a reliable fabrication approach for high voltage isolators, development and demonstration of an isolator design with maximum voltage standoff in a minimum volume, assessment life-limiting issues and accelerated life testing. The Phase II project will result in a new fabrication tool for high voltage isolation and insulation components, and a new optimized isolator design suitable for HiPEP and NEXIS ion engines.

Principal Investigator:

Walter Zimbeck
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Sharon S. Fehrenbacher
Small Business Information at Submission:

Technology Assessment & Transfer, Inc.
133 Defense Hwy Suite 212 Annapolis, MD 21401

EIN/Tax ID: 521253097
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No