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Propellant Storage and Distribution System Based on Textured Ceramic Valves for Xenon Electric Propulsion Systems

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC19C0547
Agency Tracking Number: 193763
Amount: $124,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T2
Solicitation Number: STTR_19_P1
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-09-18
Small Business Information
1965 Lycoming Creek Road, Suite 205
Williamsport, PA 17701-1251
United States
DUNS: 028856420
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Gareth Knowles
 Principal Investigator
 (570) 322-2700
Business Contact
 Cathy Bower
Phone: (570) 322-2700
Research Institution
Sponsored Programs; 601 S. Howes St.
Fort Collins, CO 80523-2002
United States

 Federally Funded R&D Center (FFRDC)

QorTek is proposing a remarkable design of a subcompact solid-state (textured ceramic) actuated Xenon flow control systems that feeds a heaterless cathode assembly. Eliminating both pressure regulator nbsp;and solenoid actuation, the revolutionary solid-state design introduces true linear response at higher bandwidth than anything presently available to the space community as to enable extremely precise flow rate control. One fill and drain port and three precision gas flow outputs will be provided to enable operation of an ion thruster, two of which will be used to enable operation of a Hall thruster. The new flow control system is capable of scaling such that it can fit as a universal assembly to the boss of a propellant storage tank. The pre- integrated electronic controller and power supply sub-system can accept external commands to set arbitrary flow rate profiles on each channel. This capability will enable both heaterless and heater-equipped hollow cathodes to be started and operated without adding additional components to the cathode gas lines. The innovation relies on our advances in textured ceramic actuation as to enable very fast valving operation. MHz pulse-width modulation allows users to set arbitrarily defined flow rates characteristics with extremely high precision. The availability of our system will greatly simplify the integration of electric propulsion systems onto small, medium, and large spacecraft and satellites due to its large size, weight, planform, and power reductions over all existing solutions. nbsp;Its relatively low cost will encourage spacecraft designers to adopt the technology. Although the initial system is targeted toward NASA Class D missions, the extremely high reliability of our solid-state drive technology will enable all many NASA and commercial space missions to benefit from its use.

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

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