Air Breathing Electric Propulsion for Aerospace Vehicles

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch:
Air Force
Amount:
$749,597.00
Award Year:
2003
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
F33615-03-C-2365
Agency Tracking Number:
021PR-0838
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
BUSEK CO., INC.
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
184629491
Principal Investigator
 V. Hruby
 President
 (508) 655-5565
 vhruby@busek.com
Business Contact
 J. Budny
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Email: judy@busek.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
All aerospace vehicles, aircraft and spacecraft, are designed to function at an altitude below 30 km or above 250 km respectively. Above 30 km, an aircraft's propulsion system encounters combustion limits and below 250 km a spacecraft encountersatmospheric drag that leads to rapid reentry. A propulsion system that could function adequately in at least a portion of the intervening altitudes would enable new type of aerospace vehicles capable of performing missions inaccessible with the presentstate-of-the-art technology. To avoid the combustion limit and the need to carry propellant we propose the development of an air-breathing electric thruster. Experiments performed in Phase I under conditions that approximate upper edges of theatmosphere, have confirmed that the electric propulsion is feasible. The experiments were very successful and the expected performance was measured. In Phase II we plan to develop the next prototype and test in our existing facility. The resulting datawill be used to design a larger prototype that will be built and tested in an enhanced Phase II or Phase III.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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