Shuttle - Compatible High Performance Propulsion Module
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760
Abstract"The Air Force Space Test Program (STP) seeks a space shuttle (SS) compatible, high performance, propulsion module (PM) to raise the orbit of a small, SS deployed, experimental payload (125 kg), to a 700+ km. Preliminary analysis identified a 200 W Hallthruster and a 100 W resistojet fueled by nontoxic novel propellant as the most promising technologies. The Hall thruster based, 56 kg PM which includes a solar power system, can raise a 181 kg spacecraft (PM + payload) to a maximum of 2458 km. The Hallthruster can also deliver discrete impulse bits (< 2 mN sec) and therefore be used for precise spacecraft positioning as on the TechSat 21 system for which it is now being qualified.In Phase I, the trade studies described in this proposal will be refined, and conceptual designs of two best PM systems will be prepared along with performance and safety risk analysis. A team of space hardware suppliers, capable of delivering the entirePM system, will be formed. Unlike the 200 W Hall thruster, the resistojet carries a developmental risk and therefore its critical component - the heater, will be evaluated experimentally during Phase I.In Phase II the entire PM system will be assembled and demonstrated. A low cost, modular, shuttle safe upper stage for orbit raising, repositioning and on orbit maneuvering of small satellites will find applications in commercial communications and Earth observation LEO systems. The PM could also be used fo
* information listed above is at the time of submission.