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

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$599,859.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNX11CC57C
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
090107
Solicitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Topic Code:
T3.01
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
5621 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder, CO, 80303-1379
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
806486692
Principal Investigator:
Sudhakar Mahalingam
Principal Investigator
(303) 996-7527
sudhakar@txcorp.com
Business Contact:
Leslie Rosczyk
Business Official
(720) 720-1855
lwr@txcorp.com
Research Institute:
Wright State University
Ellen Reisnch Friese
3640 Colonel Glenn Highway
Dayton, OH, 45435-45435
() -
Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
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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