Simple Colloid Thruster for Generating Precise Impulse Thrust

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0006-05-C-7235
Agency Tracking Number: B041-019-0902
Amount: $749,547.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA04-019
Solicitation Number: 2004.1
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760
DUNS: 184629491
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 V. Hruby
 (508) 655-5565
Business Contact
 J. Budny
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Research Institution
For the Phase I effort, Busek developed a simple, integrated colloid thruster prototype capable of producing thrust of 100 µN at reasonable operating conditions. A unique geometry was chosen from several electrospraying sources tested. This thrust was conservatively estimated from measured beam current, accelerating voltage and could be significantly higher. As this was achieved from an area of less than 1 square mm, it is expected that scaling to 1 mN or even higher thrust levels is not only feasible but can be achieved in a small package suitable for micro and nanosatellite propulsion. For the Phase II effort, Busek proposes to explore the high-thrust electrospray source, characterizing its performance and exploring variants for further improvements in performance. Supporting the endeavor shall be the concurrent development of the next-generation prototype of propellant storage, valve, feed system and electronics. The Phase II program shall culminate in the delivery of an integrated, EM-like thruster system including propellant storage, valve, and feed system assembly.

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

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