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Next-Generation Ion Thruster Design Tool to Support Future Space Missions

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Tech-X Corporation
5621 Arapahoe Ave Boulder, CO 80303-1379
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Next-Generation Ion Thruster Design Tool to Support Future Space Missions
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX11CC57C
Award Amount: $599,859.00


Computational tools that accurately predict the performance of electric propulsiondevices are highly desirable and beneficial to NASA and the broader electric propulsioncommunity. The current state-of-the-art in electric propulsion modeling relies heavily onempirical data and on numerous computational "knobs". In Phase I of this project, wedeveloped the most detailed ion engine discharge chamber model that currently exists.This is a kinetic model that simulates all particles in the discharge chamber along with aphysically correct simulation of the electric fields. In addition, kinetic erosion models areincluded for modeling the ion-impingement effects on thruster component erosion. ForPhase II of this project, the goal is to make this sophisticated computer program a userfriendly program that NASA and other governmental and industrial customers are able toutilize. In Phase II we will implement a number of advanced numerical routines to bringthe computational time down to a commercially acceptable level. At the end of Phase II,NASA will have a highly sophisticated, user friendly ion engine discharge chambermodeling tool that will save time and expense in designing new and different size ionengines, as well as analyzing existing ion engine performance.

Principal Investigator:

Sudhakar Mahalingam
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Leslie Rosczyk
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Tech-X Corporation
5621 Arapahoe Ave, Suite A Boulder, CO -

EIN/Tax ID: 841256533
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
Contact: Ellen Reisnch Friese