Long Lifetime Cathode and Iodine Fueled Electostatic Thruster

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9300-19-P-1001
Agency Tracking Number: F182-065-1394
Amount: $149,914.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF182-065
Solicitation Number: 2018.2
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-03-04
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-03-04
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760
DUNS: 184629491
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Szabo
 (508) 655-5565
 jszabo@busek.com
Business Contact
 Judy Budny
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Email: judy@busek.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Busek will develop a long lifetime iodine fueled Hall thruster system (thruster and cathode) for long duration testing in space or on the ground in a space-relevant environment.Iodine is a game changing propellant, never before flown, which stores at three times the density of xenon.For volume limited spacecraft, Iodine Electric Propulsion (IEP) enables a massive increase in delta V with respect to xenon propulsion.Phase I will focus upon developing the hollow cathode electron source.The cathode, which may be mounted along the central axis of the thruster, is subject to a variety of degradation mechanisms including ion bombardment.For near term missions, the cathode will be fueled by noble gas.In Phase II, Busek will deliver a complete system (thruster and cathode) that improves lifetime by at least a factor of two with respect to todays commercially available thrusters.System power will be 1 - 2 kW, which is appropriate for medium to large satellite applications.Specific impulse will exceed 2,000 s.The knowledge gained will be broadly applicable to cathodes and thrusters of other power levels.

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

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