Modular Green Propulsion System with Autonomous Orbit Control

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Busek Co. Inc.
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, -
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Michael Tsay
Research Engineer
(508) 655-5565
Business Contact:
Judy Budny
Contracts Administrator
(508) 655-5565
Research Institution:

ABSTRACT: Busek Co. Inc. proposes to develop an advanced propulsion module with autonomous orbit control for ORS satellites. It will be fueled by low-toxicity liquid propellants and will provide as much as 329m/s delta-V to a 250kg spacecraft. Due to the stability and ease of handling of the green propellants, the proposed system can be safely stored on the shelf in a fully fueled state for extended period and rapidly integrated into the spacecraft with minimum effort. Busek is also proposing to partner with Microcosm, Inc. to incorporate the patented autonomous orbit control software into the control logic of the primary propulsion system. The software will also be able to command the attitude control system and thus achieving fully autonomous stationkeeping. This technology will have significant impact in reducing the operation cost of ORS satellites, which are typically stationed in low Earth orbits and require frequent orbit maintenance burns to compensate high atmospheric drag. BENEFIT: Market size for the green propulsion system is very large. In addition to the ORS office, all branches of the military have potential interests in such propulsion for tactical or in-space applications. The pre-fueled green propulsion module, indefinitely storable on the shelf prior to integration with the spacecraft, is crucial to ORS for speedy launch operations. Such a system will obviate the conventional spacecraft fueling by a team of people in hazmat suits at the launch site with preparation time of at least a week, countering the ORS effort for launch in hours as opposed weeks. The autonomous orbit control feature of this system will further enhance its marketability because it can drastically reduce the operational cost of satellite constellations situated in low Earth orbits. We plan to commercialize the specific green propulsion system as well as the key innovations within it: the material-compatible high pressure propellant tank, the green propellant thruster, the piezo microvalve and feed system, and the fully autonomous orbit control software.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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