Simple Colloid Thruster for Generating Precise Impulse Thrust

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: FA9300-04-M-3102
Agency Tracking Number: B041-019-0902
Amount: $99,910.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
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
 Vlad Hruby
 (508) 655-5565
Business Contact
 Judy Budny
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Research Institution
For this Phase I SBIR, we propose to design, fabricate, and test a colloid thruster integrated with an on/off microvalve. The design leverages Busek's accumulated expertise in colloid thruster development, gained through NASA's ST7 project, toward developing a general-purpose, flexible, and miniaturized micropropulsion system. Busek has already demonstrated a flight-viable colloid thruster architecture with Isp of ~500s, efficiencies of up to 70% (depending upon operating mode), thrust ratio greater than 20:1, minimum thrust of 0.15 microNewtons, 0.001 microNewton controllable thrust resolution, and lifetime of 2500 hours with no deterioration in performance. We shall develop the prototype design with an eye toward modularity and scalability, with the objective of providing a single thruster system with large dynamic thrust range, up to milliNewtons, while maintaining micro- and nano- Newton thrust resolution. Our Phase I effort shall focus primarily upon a simplified system of a single colloid thruster and valve, focusing upon integration of valve and thruster into a single package. Performance testing on a thrust stand shall be performed to verify the design as well as demonstrate and measure operation in an `impulse bit' mode.

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

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