CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION OF PLASMA FOCUS TYPE MPD THRUSTER

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 15016
Amount: $50,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1991
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Rockford Technology Associates
912 W Armory, Champaign, IL, 61821
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Olivier Barnouin
 Principal Investigator
 (217) 333-3772
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
THIS PROJECT INVOLVES EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES WITH AN EXISTING 10-KJ GAS-INJECTED PLASMA FOCUS FACILITY INTENDED TO DEVELOP THE DATABASE NEEDED TO DESIGN AND BUILD AN OPTIMIZED 1-MJ FOCUS. THE ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE IS TO DEMONSTRATE THE FEASIBILITY AND ATTRACTIVENESS OF THIS CONCEPT FOR VERY HIGH SPECIFIC IMPULSE SPACE PROPULSION. THE FOCUS CONCEPT EMPLOYS JXB PLASMA ACCELERATION TO GENERATE THRUST IN A MANNER SIMILAR TO THE CONVENTIONAL MAGNETO PLASMA DYNAMIC (MPD) THRUSTER. HOWEVER, THE FOCUS HAS THE ADDED ADVANTAGE OF GENERATING ADDITIONAL THRUST FROM FUSION ENERGY RELEASED DURING THE PINCH PHASE OF THE ARC RUNDOWN. EXPERIMENTS PROPOSED INCLUDE STUDIES OF ELECTRODE DIMENSIONAL EFFECTS, VARIATION OF PERFORMANCE WITH OUTER ELECTRODE FLOW PASSAGE SIZE, AND ALTERNATE GAS INJECTION POINTS. A VARIETY OF DIAGNOSTICS WILL BE EMPLOYED TO MEASURE PLASMA PARAMETERS AND THE NET THRUST GENERATED BY THE ACCELERATED PLASMA. THE DATA WILL PROVIDE A PARAMETRIC BASIS FOR OPTIMIZING THRUST GENERATION AND FOR THE SCALE-UP TO LARGER ENERGY DEVICES. THIS PROJECT CAN DEMONSTRATE KEY TECHNOLOGY THAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR USE IN FUTURE DEEP SPACE MISSIONS. SUCH TECHNOLOGY COULD SIGNIFICANTLY SHORTEN TRIP TIMES COMPARED TO CONVENTIONAL PROPULSION CONCEPTS. THE THRUSTER TECHNOLOGY COULD PROVIDE PRIVATE COMPANIES WITH A MANUFACTURING OPPORTUNITY IN THE FUTURE ANALOGOUS TO JET ENGINE PRODUCTION FOR PRESENT AIRCRAFT.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government