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Fail-safe Cold Cathode Ionizer

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC22CA100
Agency Tracking Number: 211579
Amount: $749,999.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S1
Solicitation Number: SBIR_21_P2
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-04-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-04-26
Small Business Information
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1077
United States
DUNS: 073800062
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jonathan Rameau
 (978) 738-8265
Business Contact
 Michael Healy
Title: mhealy
Phone: (978) 738-8107
Research Institution

In response to NASArsquo;s call for development of enabling technologies for space exploration instrumentation such as mass spectrometers, Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) is developing a novel cold cathode ionizer. The ionizer, which is being optimized for application to Heliophysics mass spectroscopy in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) combines exceptionally low power consumption, high output current densities, high reliability and an extremely compact form factor. PSIrsquo;s cold cathode ionizer is also uniquely resistant to degradation by the hyperthermal atomic oxygen present in LEO. The properties render PSIrsquo;s cold cathode technology uniquely suited to use near Earth, particularly those flown on cubesats and similar small spacecraft platforms.nbsp;In Phase I of the development program, PSI successfully demonstrated the operating principle behind the cold cathode electron gun, yielding stable emission current densities over 60 mA/cm2 in a breadboard device. In Phase II, PSI will optimize the field emission technology while shrinking and ruggedizing the devices. The Phase II program will culminate in delivery of a flight-capable cold cathode ionizer to NASA meeting or exceeding every key performance parameter required for integration into cubesat-based mass spectrometers for Heliophysics applications.

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

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