Next-Generation Ion Thruster Design Tool to Support Future Space Missions

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX11CC57C
Agency Tracking Number: 090107
Amount: $599,859.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: T3.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
5621 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO, 80303-1379
DUNS: 806486692
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Sudhakar Mahalingam
 Principal Investigator
 (303) 996-7527
Business Contact
 Leslie Rosczyk
Title: Business Official
Phone: (720) 720-1855
Research Institution
 Wright State University
 Ellen Reisnch Friese
 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, OH, 45435-45435
 () -
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Computational tools that accurately predict the performance of electric propulsiondevices are highly desirable and beneficial to NASA and the broader electric propulsioncommunity. The current state-of-the-art in electric propulsion modeling relies heavily onempirical data and on numerous computational "knobs". In Phase I of this project, wedeveloped the most detailed ion engine discharge chamber model that currently exists.This is a kinetic model that simulates all particles in the discharge chamber along with aphysically correct simulation of the electric fields. In addition, kinetic erosion models areincluded for modeling the ion-impingement effects on thruster component erosion. ForPhase II of this project, the goal is to make this sophisticated computer program a userfriendly program that NASA and other governmental and industrial customers are able toutilize. In Phase II we will implement a number of advanced numerical routines to bringthe computational time down to a commercially acceptable level. At the end of Phase II,NASA will have a highly sophisticated, user friendly ion engine discharge chambermodeling tool that will save time and expense in designing new and different size ionengines, as well as analyzing existing ion engine performance.

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

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