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Compact, Lightweight, High Voltage Propellant Isolators

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNC04CA69C
Agency Tracking Number: 035128
Amount: $66,353.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: F7.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2003
Award Year: 2004
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2004-01-16
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2004-07-19
Small Business Information
133 Defense Hwy, Suite 212
Annapolis, MD 21401-8907
United States
DUNS: 1515390
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Walter Zimbeck
 Principal Investigator
 (410) 224-3710
Business Contact
 Sharon Fehrenbacher
Title: Business Official
Phone: (410) 224-3710
Research Institution

TA&T, Inc. proposes an enabling fabrication process for high voltage isolators required in high power solar electric and nuclear electric propulsion (SEP and NEP, respectively). State-of-the-art propellant voltage isolators have sufficient performance for existing ion and Hall thruster engines with voltages of a few kilovolts. However, future high thrust, high specific impulse (Isp) engines will have to support beam voltages >10kV to meet performance requirements. If existing isolator designs are simply scaled-up for higher voltages, then a significant mass penalty is incurred. The proposed fabrication approach, known as ceramic stereolithography(CSL), is an automated, layered manufacturing process that enables net shape, monolithic ceramics with complex geometry. The process is beneficial as a rapid, low cost fabrication approach that enables exploration of novel isolator designs with complex internal flow passages. The process is also beneficial for isolator production, because it is capable of making the complex structures as a single piece ceramic, eliminating the liability associated with multi-piece construction necessary using conventional ceramic fabrication methods. The Phase I project will involve process development, device design, prototype fabrication and testing in collaboration with Aerojet Corporation (Redmond, WA).

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

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