Lifetime Improvement of Large Scale Green Monopropellant Thrusters via Novel, Long-Life Catalysts

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch:
N/A
Amount:
$124,994.00
Award Year:
2013
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX13CC34P
Agency Tracking Number:
124950
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
H2.02
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
Busek Company Inc.
MA, Natick, MA, 01760-1023
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
185739591
Principal Investigator
 Michael Tsay
 Senior Engineer
 (508) 655-5565
 mtsay@busek.com
Business Contact
 Judy Budny
Title: Business Official
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Email: judy@busek.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Busek proposes to develop a high performance, non-toxic storable, "green" monopropellant thruster suitable for in-space reaction control propulsion. The engine will deliver 100N (~25lbf) vacuum thrust with specific impulse exceeding 240sec. Estimated Isp-density is on the order of 348 sec-g/cc, a 48% increase from the state-of-the-art hydrazine systems. The most important feature that sets this thruster apart from other similar devices will be the use of an innovative, long-life catalyst. This proprietary catalyst, constructed without any bed plate or ceramic substrate, was recently demonstrated in Busek's 0.5N micro thruster. It has shown the ability to suppress catalyst-related performance degradation problems that often plague green monopropellant thrusters.The proposed Phase I program will focus on developing a 5N green monopropellant thruster by scaling up the long-life catalyst design from the 0.5N thruster. Both empirical and modeling works are proposed to validate the scaling theory. Thruster performance will be evaluated based on hot-firing test results that include c* and vacuum thrust measurements. The Phase I findings will lead to the design of a full-scale, 100N green monopropellant thruster to be developed in Phase II.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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