Low-Pressure Long-Term Xenon Storage for Electric Propulsion (701RS015)

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Missile Defense Agency
Amount:
$59,985.00
Award Year:
1997
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
35806
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Mainstream Engineering Corp.
200 Yellow Pl, Pines, Industrial Center, Rockledge, FL, 32955
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Robert P. Scaringe, Ph.d.
(407) 631-3550
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
The 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.

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