Micro Resistojet for Small Satellites

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNG05CA45C
Agency Tracking Number: 041141
Amount: $69,925.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: S1.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760-2213
DUNS: 184629491
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Vlad Hruby
 Principal Investigator
 (508) 655-5565
 vhruby@busek.com
Business Contact
 Judy Budny
Title: Business Official
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Email: judy@busek.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Micro-resistojets offer the best combination of simplicity, performance, wet system mass and power consumption for small satellites (<100kg, <50Watts) requiring mN level propulsion and low to moderate deltaV(<500m/sec). Classical competing devices such as cold gas thrusters have low performance, while liquid bipropellants have both high losses in the mN thrust range and are more complex. The advanced EP devices such as colloid thrusters are suitable for sub-mN thrust while electrostatic or electromagnetic thrusters are suitable for large deltaV missions where their higher dry mass is offset by higher specific impulse. Busek therefore proposes to develop a complete micro-resistojet system operating on ammonia or methanol delivering thrust up to 5mN, specific impulse approaching 300sec, impulse bit smaller than 1mNsec and power consumption lower than approximately 10Watts. Ammonia was chosen because it is less toxic than hydrazine while offering similar performance. Methanol is non toxic, greatly simplifying s/c fueling which is especially important for low cost missions. In Phase 1, breadboard system will be constructed and tested on our Maglev thrust stand that can resolve microNewton forces. In Phase 2 an Engineering Model of the system will be developed.

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

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