Control Valve for Miniature Xenon Ion Thruster

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$599,883.00
Award Year:
2008
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNC08CA39C
Award Id:
83818
Agency Tracking Number:
066747
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
200 Boston Avenue, Suite 1000, Medford, MA, 02155
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
786127522
Principal Investigator:
PetraBotha
Principal Investigator
(781) 306-0609
pbotha@mide.com
Business Contact:
PetraBotha
Business Official
(781) 306-0609
pbotha@mide.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
NASA is continuing its development of electric propulsion engines for various applications. Efforts have been directed toward both large and small thrusters, depending on the end use. A current program is focused on the development of a miniature thruster. Development of a Miniature Xenon Ion (MiXI) thruster will enable precision spacecraft positioning and formation maneuvers for formation-flying spacecraft. The current MiXI thruster prototype will provide 0.5 ýý 3 mN thrust at 3000 sec specific impulse and efficiencies around 50% or better. The MiXI thruster will use Xenon propellant, a noble gas, minimizing spacecraft contamination.(http://dst.jpl.nasa.gov/thrusters/) One of the challenges of such a thruster is to be able to accurately control the flow of propellant. The required flow rates are on the order of 0.1 to 1.0 sccm of Xenon. To this end Midýý, in Phase I, demonstrated that a small flow control valve, based on piezoelectric technology, met all performance objectives. Midýý is a world leader in this technology, demonstrated by its existing patented packaged actuator product line and past valve experience. Aerojet provided electric propulsion expertise for the duration of the program and serve as a technology integration and transition path.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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