AN ELECTROSTATIC PLASMA ACCELERATOR PROPULSION SYSTEM FOR SMALL SATELLITES

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Amount:
$49,993.00
Award Year:
1990
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
12434
Agency Tracking Number:
12434
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
43423 Division St - Ste 205, Lancaster, CA, 93535
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Dr Graeme Aston
(805) 945-4866
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
A SIMPLE, HIGH SPECIFIC IMPULSE ELECTRIC PROPULSION THRUSTER IS PROPOSED FOR APPLICATION TO SMALL SATELLITES. THIS THRUSTER USES AN ELECTROSTATIC PLASMA ACCELERATION (EPA) PRINCIPLE TO ACHIEVE PROJECTED SPECIFIC IMPULSE LEVELS OF ORDER 1,000 SEC. KEY FEATURES OF THE EPA THRUSTER CONCEPT INCLUDE THE ABILITY TO OPERATE DIRECTLY OFF THE SPACECRAFT BUS, WITH LITTLE OR NO POWER CONDITIONING, AND THE CAPABILITY OF OPERATING WITH A VARIETY OF PROPELLANTS INCLUDING INERT GASES AND HYDRAZINE DECOMPOSITION PRODUCTS. CALCULATIONS ARE PRESENTED WHICH SHOW THAT THE MISSION CAPABILITY OF SMALL SATELLITES WOULD BE SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDED BY THE USE OF AN EPA PROPULSION SYSTEM. A JOINT PHASE I PROGRAM BETWEEN THE ELECTRIC PROPULSION LABORATORY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE SPACE INSTITUTE, CENTER FOR ADVANCED SPACE PROPULSION, IS PROPOSED TO INVESTIGATE EPA THRUSTER OPERATION AT POWER LEVELS UP TO A FEW HUNDRED WATTS AND THE INTEGRATION ISSUES ATTENDANT TO ADAPTING THIS PROPULSION CONCEPT TO SMALL SATELLITES.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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