Direct Momentum Accommodation Coefficient Measurements for Satellite Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9101-04-C-0031
Agency Tracking Number: F031-0834
Amount: $749,660.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: AF03-256
Solicitation Number: 2003.1
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, -1023
DUNS: 184629491
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kurt Hohman
 (508) 655-5565
Business Contact
 Judy Budny
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Research Institution
Momentum Accommodation Coefficient (MAC) data, derived from experimental measurements, are required to predict atmospheric drag on satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO). Currently MACs are estimated from measurements of the velocity distribution of the incident and reflected molecules in a molecular beam facility. The reflected molecules velocity and flux must be measured in all directions; hence the measurement is difficult and inaccurate. Busek proposes a new technique that reduces or eliminates the present difficulties. A new atomic source invented at Busek is used to produce a stream or a beam of atomic oxygen that impinges upon the test article (satellite surface sample) whose drag is measured by a unique thrust stand that resolves micro Newton forces. The MACs are then calculated from the measured drag. The new source of atomic oxygen with adjustable energy appropriate for orbital conditions was successfully demonstrated during Phase 1 of the program. A complete, efficient, and widely manipulated direct force momentum accommodation coefficient measurement facility will be constructed and characterized in Phase II. Accurate drag measurements and concomitant accurate MAC predictions will lead to optimization of satellite design, including one or all of the following: increased orbital life, reduced propulsion requirements and/or increased payload.

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

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