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Warm Gas Generator Resistojet Micropropulsion System

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC19C0434
Agency Tracking Number: 193357
Amount: $121,437.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: Z8
Solicitation Number: SBIR_19_P1
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-02-18
Small Business Information
2 Gregory Drive
South Burlington, VT 05403-6046
United States
DUNS: 080847279
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Michael McDevitt
 (802) 999-8211
 rmcdevitt@benchmark-space.com
Business Contact
 James Hibbs
Phone: (228) 813-6209
Email: james.s.hibbs@nasa.gov
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

Benchmark Space Systems proposes a resistojet micropropulsion system that leverages a solid gas generator to offer high-performance, low-cost propulsion with key safety features. This system is designed to offer 1600 Nbull;s in a 2U frame.The design calls for one central thruster that will provide 0.2 N of thrust. The resistojet thruster uses a patent-pending exothermic Warm Gas Generator (WGG) that decomposes from a single heating point once on-orbit. The gas is held at high pressure and released through a regulator and valve to supply consistent and controlled flow to the nozzle. Inside the nozzle chamber, the gas is heated to high temperatures (up to 1000deg; C) to increase efficiency. At these elevated temperatures the system can achieve an estimated specific impulse up to 175 s.nbsp;The fuel for this warm-gas resistojet system is Azodicarbonamide (ADA). ADA comes in a powdered form and is Department of Transportation approved for shipping. It is most commonly used in plastics manufacturing and commercial baking. It is safe to handle and non-toxic.ADA undergoes an exothermic decomposition reaction when raised to a critical temperature. A rapid decomposition occurs at temperatures above 230deg; C. The resulting gas is a blend of N2, CO, CO2, and NH3. Once started, the reaction takes lt;1 second to propagate through the entirety of fuel in the tank. The warm gas produced has a specific impulse of 86 s with no additional heating. Increasing the temperature in a resistojet system will provide a specific impulse of 150-175 s depending on power input. Benchmark is targeting 15 W and 150 s for the initial design.This SBIR Project by Benchmark Space Systems will develop an efficient and benign chemical propulsion system for small satellites. The goal of the project will be to design and integrate the propulsion system into a CubeSat mission. Phase I will produce a benchtop model to characterize the system and design a prototype model to be built during Phase II.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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