Low-Pressure Long-Term Xenon Storage for Electric Propulsion (701RS015)
Small Business Information
Mainstream Engineering Corp.
200 Yellow Pl, Pines, Industrial Center, Rockledge, FL, 32955
Robert P. Scaringe, Ph.d.
AbstractThe high molecular weight of Xenon (Xe) makes it ideal as a fuel for electric propulsion systems such as SPT and ion engines. However, storage as a compressed-gas or in a liquified state is far from ideal due to the massive supporting refrigeration hardware, pressure reduction equipment, complex controls, and/or thick-walled tanks. Mainstream proposes the innovative use of a solid storage system for Xe gas propellant Mainstream has already demonstrated this solid-storage capability on an earlier unrelated cyrocooler effort. The proposed solid-Xe system would be passive, utilizinc waste heat to liberate Xe for fuel. The Xe is stored at sub-atmospheric pressures, and requires no supporting insulation or cooling subsystem. This Phase I effort will research storage densities, delivery, and equilibrium issues of Xe solid stoarge. Proof-of-concept hardware will be developed to demonstrate production, storaqe, and supply. A successful Phase I effort would provide the nec-essary information to develop working prototypes of Xe gas storage/supply systems in Phase II. Solid Xe storage would provide for-the advancement of electric propulsion technologies to commercial and military satellite applications and space exploration vehicles in both short and long-duration applications. Low pressure storage will also bridge the gap to longer duration commercial operation.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.