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

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 35806
Amount: $59,985.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1997
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
200 Yellow Pl, Pines Industrial Center
Rockledge, FL 32955
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Robert P. Scaringe, Ph.d.
 (407) 631-3550
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution

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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