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

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNC06CB12C
Agency Tracking Number: 054070
Amount: $69,914.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: S3.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760-1023
DUNS: 185739591
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Charles Gasdaska
 Principal Investigator
 (508) 655-5565
Business Contact
 Judy Budny
Title: Business Official
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Research Institution
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. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government