Variable Impulse Hall Thruster

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: F04611-02-C-0026
Agency Tracking Number: 011PRO-1914
Amount: $749,199.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Busek Co., Inc.
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760
Duns: 184629491
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Bruce Pote
 Director, Hall Thruster P
 (508) 655-5565
Business Contact
 Judy Budny
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Research Institution
"Fleets of small satellites flying in precise formation require on-board propulsion for orbit initialization, on-orbit maneuvers and to maintain relative positioning. The first scheduled on-orbit demonstration of formation flying is the AFRL/VS TechSat 21mission to demonstrate sparse aperture phased array sensing from a formation of three (170 kg) satellites.In our TechSat 21 and Phase I SBIR program we demonstrated the feasibility of operating our Hall thruster in the pulsed mode to deliver precisely controllable, repetitive and/or single impulse bits of arbitrary magnitude. The thruster was powered fromeither a PPU or a capacitor depending on the desired mode of operation.In Phase I we repetitively pulsed the thruster with the length and frequency of the discharge pulses varied depending on the capacitor size and the available charging power. Near steady state (>80%) thrust and Isp was obtained during discharge pulses asshort as 25 msec. Also, we developed plasma, electrical and flow transient models to develop a basic understanding of the initiation and evolution of the plasma discharge.In Phase II, Busek will optimize the propulsion system while powered from a PPU. Design modifications will be incorporated into the thruster, cathode and Xe feed system to minimize the required Xe flow to start the cathode and thruster. At the conclusionof Phase II, Busek will deliver to the Air Force an integrated propulsion system for variab

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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