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Reservoir Cathode for Electric Space Propulsion

Award Information

Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
104137
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
X2.04
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
e-beam, Inc.
21070 Southwest Tile Flat Road Beaverton, OR 97007-8739
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Reservoir Cathode for Electric Space Propulsion
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX11CF69P
Award Amount: $99,958.00
 

Abstract:

We propose a reservoir cathode to improve performance in both ion and Hall-effect thrusters. We propose to adapt our existing reservoir cathode technology to this purpose. Reservoir cathodes are the only emission sources that are capable of providing the necessary current density (>5.0 A/cm2) and life (>100,000 hours) for next generation high-power thrusters. More powerful thrusters are needed for interplanetary and lunar missions, including earth escape and near-earth space maneuvers. Reservoir cathodes are able to provide sufficient new barium to the cathode surface to overcome the high barium removal rates in ion engines. We have many years' experience developing reservoir cathodes. The key challenge is the stresses exerted on the cathode tube due to differential expansion and large temperature excursions. These lead to fracturing and weld failure. Our innovation solves this problem. In Phase I, a prototype is built and tested. In Phase II, we optimize for specific ion engines.

Principal Investigator:

Bernard Vancil
Principal Investigator
5036280703
bernie@ebeaminc.com

Business Contact:

Bernard Vancil
Business Official
5036280703
bernie@ebeaminc.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

e-beam, Inc.
21070 Southwest Tile Flat Road Beaverton, OR 97007-8739

EIN/Tax ID: 753038635
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No