Development of a High Flux Source of Gas Phase Carbon and/or Boron Atoms

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 25842
Amount: $79,983.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1994
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
104 Centre Court, Radford, VA, 24141
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Edward J. Yadlowsky
 (703) 639-4019
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
The energy required to convert solid carbon or boron into gas phase atoms becomes stored energy if these gas phase atoms are trapped without reaction in a solid hydrogen matrix. This energy is released when the carbon-hydrogen fuel mixture is burned in a rocket engine increasing the specific impulse of the fuel. The task of producing high energy density fueld is frustrated by the lack of a high flux source of gas phase carbon atoms having adequate purity (99%) that is both compatible with cryogenic trapping requirements and is economical for commercial applications. Thermal evaporation or laser ablation sources do not meet these cryogenic and economic requirements, respectively. HY-Tech proposes to build a plasma discharge source utilizing a metal vapor vacuum arc (MEVVA) to generate a pure carbon plasma that is confined and guided to a biased electrode where the ions are recombined through an Auger tunneling process. Incorporating an electrode avoids the cryogenic problems that would arise if a conventional neutralizing gas cell was used. The mass of carbon atoms per unit of charge transfer in the arc will be determined for designing the Phase II system. Estimates indicate that the required flux of 0.21 g/hr can be generated at an average power consumption of 0.8 to 1 kw of electrical energy.

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

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