20mN, Variable Specific Impulse Colloid Thruster

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$897,478.00
Award Year:
2012
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
NNX12CA23C
Agency Tracking Number:
105122
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
S3.04
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Busek Co., Inc.
MA, Natick, MA, 01760-1023
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
185739591
Principal Investigator:
Nathaniel Demmons
Principal Investigator
(508) 655-5565
nate@busek.com
Business Contact:
Judy Budny
Business Official
(508) 655-5565
judy@busek.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
During Phase I, Busek designed and manufactured an electrospray emitter capable of generating 20 mN in a 7" x 7" x 1.7" package. The thruster consists of nine porous-surface emitters operating in parallel from a common propellant supply. Each emitter is capable of supporting over 70,000 electrospray emission sites, with the plume from each emitter being accelerated through a single aperture, eliminating the need for individual emission site alignment to an extraction grid. The total number of emission sites during operation is expected to approach 700,000.Phase II results will focus on optimization and characterization of the thruster fabricated during the Phase I effort, as well as fabrication of additional porous emitters for full-scale testing. Propellant will be supplied to the thruster via existing feedsystem and micro-valve technology previously developed by Busek, under the NASA ST7-DRS mission, and follow-on electric propulsion programs. Methods for extending thruster life beyond the previously demonstrated 450 hours, will be investigated and include potential alternate emitter materials selection, and bi-polar thruster operation. The life extending capabilities will be demonstrated on a sub-scale version of the thruster developed.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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