Field-Effect Modulated Electro-Osmotic Pumps for High Precision Colloid Thrusters

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$69,914.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNC06CB12C
Award Id:
77541
Agency Tracking Number:
054070
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
184629491
Principal Investigator:
Charles Gasdaska
Principal Investigator
(508) 655-5565
chas@busek.com
Business Contact:
Judy Budny
Business Official
(508) 655-5565
judy@busek.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
The ability to precisely control the position of satellites is a critical enabling technology for space missions involving interferometric arrays. One proposed mission, LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), would use an array of 3 satellites whose relative position is monitored and controlled to an accuracy of 10 nm. Precise station-keeping such as this demands precise, high stability thrusters supplied with propellant flows on the order of microliters/min and producing micro-newtons of thrust. These requirements are difficult or impossible to meet with traditional thrusters and feed systems such as cold-gas thrusters or monopropellants. The proposed program will evaluate the use of electro-osmosis to supply and control the flow of ionic liquid propellants to micronewton colloid thrusters. In addition, the use of a gate electrode to control the surface charge and therefore the magnitude and direction of flow will be examined as will the use of AC fields to limit electrolysis effects. Phase I will provide basic information on the electro-osmotic behavior of ionic liquids using simple test devices and electrospray emitters. Phase II will involve detailed design work to fabricate a practical propellant feed system using electro-osmotic pumps.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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