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Advanced Design Tools for Electrosail Propulsion Systems

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0636
Agency Tracking Number: 205261
Amount: $123,107.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T2
Solicitation Number: STTR_20_P1
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-08-06
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-09-30
Small Business Information
2324 Venndale Ave
San Jose, CA 95124-4929
United States
DUNS: 080196658
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Sergey Gimelshein
 (818) 527-5432
Business Contact
 Sergey Gimelshein
Title: gimels
Phone: (818) 527-5432
Research Institution
 Stanford University
3160 Porter Drive Suite 100
Palo Alto, CA 94304-8445
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

The goal of this project is to develop a medium-fidelity, engineering level computational tool that will provide NASA researchers with an efficient instrument for testing, optimizing, and finalizing the E-Sail configuration, and further assist in the navigation and control design. The core of the tool is a computationally efficient parallel 3Dnbsp;Particle-In-Cell (PIC)nbsp;code. The relatively slow progress in computational modeling of a solar-wind flow over an E-sail to a large extent could be explained by a multi-scale nature of such flow. nbsp;On the spatial scale, typical diameter of a wire in the tether assembly of an E-sail is on the order of several micron, while the total span of an E-sail may reach 100 km. On the time scale, the electron time scale is on the order of millisecond, while the E-sail based reference is many orders of magnitude larger. nbsp;In the proposed work, the multi-scale solar wind flow around an E-sail will be predicted through the development of a physically realistic boundary conditions that model the spacecraft charging and plasma sheath around the tethers, and its application in full 3D modeling.Several factors contribute to the novelty and the importance of the proposed work: (i) the code will be designed specifically for E-sail modeling, starting from setting arbitrary tether assembly, and to computing all parameters of importance for E-sail optimization; (ii) modeling will be truly multi-scale, with attention to the entire solar wind environment of an E-sail resolved down to the Debye sheath; (iii) a number of code performance improvement algorithms will be assessed, of which the best will be used in the code; and (iv) data-driven models that use Kalman filters will be applied to provide assistance in the design and performance control stages.

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

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