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Microwave Powered Plasma On-Orbir Thruster System Using a Non-Resonant Plasma…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1994 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Aero-plasma, Inc.
23974 Craftsman Rd. Calabasas, CA 91302
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1994
Title: Microwave Powered Plasma On-Orbir Thruster System Using a Non-Resonant Plasma Generator
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $59,976.00


An innovative Microwave-Powered Plasma Thruster concept for On-Orbit application is proposed based on its significant ISP magnitude advantages over the electric arcjet thrusters attained by reduction of inherent arcjet energy losses resulting as a consequence of the pinch plasma arc used for heating of the arcjet propellant gases. The proposed approach is based on microwave gas turbine engine ignition/stabilization technology developed by API and tested in component test beds and on a jet engine. This effort has demonstrated the capability on non-resonant plasma generators and has characterized the efficiency and quantified the energy losses; and the results along with the known, high efficiency energy coupling characteristics of microwave plasmas support that a higher efficiency is obtainable. The emphasis of the proposed effort will be to design, fabricate and test a thruster for precise thrust and ISP quantification. API has devised a precision thrust measurement technique suitable for the microware-powered plasma thruster configuration that can accurately quantify the low-power thruster thrust levels. Data from these results will be used to produce a thruster for a Phase II flight prototype Demonstration Test.

Principal Investigator:

William P. Peschel

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Aero-plasma, Inc.
23974 Craftsman Road Calabasas, CA 91302

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No