Low Mass 20 kW Hall Thruster

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-04-C-2470
Agency Tracking Number: O031-0055
Amount: $746,287.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD03-006
Solicitation Number: 2003.2
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760
DUNS: 184629491
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Szabo
 Research Scientist
 (508) 655-5565
Business Contact
 Judy Budny
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Email: judy@busek.com
Research Institution
To meet emerging requirements for high power Hall thruster technologies that significantly enhance the transportation of DoD space assets, Busek proposes to complete development of a low mass 20 kW class Hall thruster. The design benefits from a unique magnetic circuit. The predicted mass of the magnetic structure and coil is about half that of a conventional design. Thrust efficiency of 70% is predicted. The proposed magnetic arrangement is especially suitable for close proximity operation (clustering). In the Phase I program, Busek designed, built and performed initial performance characterization of a 20 kW thruster design based on our nominal magnetic arrangement. The maximum efficiency obtained was 67% at 400 V at the discharge. Power input up to 16 kW was demonstrated. Also during Phase I the preliminary design of the low mass magnetic circuit was completed. The two designs have nearly identical magnetic field distribution and use the same discharge dimensions ensuring similar performance. In Phase II, Busek will generate mechanical drawings and build a 20 kW low mass prototype, measure its magnetic field on the bench, and measure the thrust it produces over a range of operating conditions. In the first half of Phase II, the nominal prototype will be subjected to a more extensive series of tests to demonstrate bimodal capabilities over 1000-3000 sec Isp operating range. Plasma simulations and erosion measurements will be developed to predict lifetime, which is > 10,000 hours. At the end of Phase II, an optimized low mass design will be tested and delivered.

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

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