Hollow-Cathode Capillary-Discharge Pseudospark Pulsed Power Units For Integrated "On-A-Chip" Plasma Propulsion Systems Using MEMS Technology

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-04-C-2509
Agency Tracking Number: O031-0251
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD03-014
Solicitation Number: 2003.2
Small Business Information
1010 W. Stoughton #203, Urbana, IL, 61801
DUNS: 119289051
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Brian Jurczyk
 President & CEO
 (708) 955-6691
Business Contact
 Brian Jurczyk
Title: President & CEO
Phone: (708) 955-6691
Email: bjurczyk@starfireindustries.com
Research Institution
There is a growing demand for advanced space-based radar/sensor/imaging systems, ballistic missile defense and anti-satellite warfare capability in self-healing distributed infrastructure space networks. Miniaturization of sensor, communications and structural hardware has driven the industry, however, space power and propulsion has significantly lagged behind. Pseudospark technology has the current carrying capability of metal-vapor arcs, control and stability of glow discharges, and size/response characteristics of solid-state switching. In Phase I, Starfire Industries evaluated MEMS-scale integration of pseudospark pulsed power units for space propulsion. Starfire Industries determined there is a viable developmental pathway for a multiuse device serving on-orbit pulsed power conditioning, high power density plasma propulsion with specific impulses from 500-2000 sec and efficiencies 20-40%, spacecraft rapid charge neutralization, and impulse bit attitude control for constellation flying. This Phase II project builds on the successes of Phase I, evaluating high areal density (>100,000 per cm2) pseudospark microdischarge arrays in the laboratory, addressing the critical outstanding issues for technology commercialization, and developing a roadmap towards thrust stand demonstration.

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

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