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Advanced Design Tools for Electrosail Propulsion Systems

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC22CA016
Agency Tracking Number: 205261
Amount: $749,919.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T2
Solicitation Number: STTR_20_P2
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-02-23
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-02-22
Small Business Information
2324 Venndale Avenue
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

 Federally Funded R&D Center (FFRDC)

The primary goal of thisnbsp;STTR Phase II project is predictive modeling ofnbsp;E-sail spacecraft thruster performancenbsp;usingnbsp;a high-fidelity computational approach. We plan to develop parallel 3D Particle-In-Cell (PIC) codesnbsp;with improved boundary conditions to simulate interactions between the solar wind plasma and E-sail, which will be validated against thrust-stand measurements of a laboratory prototype. The work will provide NASA researchers withnbsp;a knowledge base for designing, testing,nbsp;and optimizing the E-sail propulsion system, and further assist in navigation and control. The proposed PIC simulations will significantlynbsp;improve the state-of-the-artnbsp;theoretical and computational analyses of E-sails that are highlighted in our Phase I effort. The self-consistent 2D/3D PIC approach will address anbsp;number ofnbsp;outstanding physical and numerical issues, such as spacecraftnbsp;charging,nbsp;electron gun operation,nbsp;and free streamnbsp;boundary conditions, ultimately leading to the nbsp;development of a reduced-order model for the full-scale in-space operation. Two codes will be used to allow for verification and benchmarking of the simulation tools:nbsp;Stanford University#39;s SPIC plasma code and AFRL#39;snbsp;SM/MURF multi-physics code. The proposed code development also offers an opportunity for technology transfer from RI to SBC and from SBC to NASA. The companionnbsp;experimental work will supplynbsp;extensive thrustnbsp;measurementsnbsp;under controlled and well characterized laboratory conditions, and thus enable extensive validation of PIC models and algorithms. Upon success of the Phase II effort, we envision that the validated PIC-based approaches will be well suited tonbsp;examine key issues of E-sail spacecraftnbsp;controllability and optimization, including its size and layout, as wellnbsp;as adapting it to thenbsp;changing plasma environment for in-space operations.nbsp;

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

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