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Magnetically Enhanced Vacuum Arc Thruster

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation
3077 Teagarden Street San Leandro, CA 94577-5720
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Magnetically Enhanced Vacuum Arc Thruster
Agency: NASA
Contract: NAS3-03039
Award Amount: $69,457.00


Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation proposes to develop a new type of electric propulsion device dubbed the Magnetically Enhanced Vacuum Arc Thruster (MVAT). This thruster is itself a variant on the Vacuum Arc Thruster that has been demonstrated via a recently concluded Phase I SBIR contracts from NASA. The VAT was verified to be a throttleable low mass (150g) high efficiency (10% measured), high Isp (1000-3000s) electric propulsion device that can be remotely adjusted to deliver individual impulse bits from 0.25?Ns to 50?Ns with repetition rates varying from 1?1000 Hz while all the time providing an Isp of >1000s. The MVAT proposed here is a pulsed device that uses the magnetic field produced by the inductor in the PPU to increase the ISP even further and hence improve thrust and efficiency. The pulsed magnetic field will also be used to confine expanding plasma plume thereby limiting contamination effects. The MVAT can provide a wide range of impulse bits and a variety of repetition rates, which could satisfy coarse and ultra-fine control demands integrated in the same simple system, while offering low mass (<300g including the PPU), simplicity (no moving parts), high efficiency (?15%) and low cost of manufacturing.

Principal Investigator:

Jochen Schein
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Mahadevan Krishnan
Small Business Information at Submission:

Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation
2235 Polvorosa Avenue, Suite 230 San Leandro, CA 94577

EIN/Tax ID: 943201700
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No