High Performance Plasma Channel Insulators for High Power Hall Thrusters

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$125,000.00
Award Year:
2013
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX13CC63P
Agency Tracking Number:
124310
Solicitation Year:
2012
Solicitation Topic Code:
S3.03
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Sienna Technologies, Inc.
19501 144TH AVE NE, SUITE F-500, Woodinville, WA, 98072-4423
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
015577190
Principal Investigator:
Ender Savrun
President
(425) 485-7272
ender.savrun@siennatech.com
Business Contact:
Karen Valdastri
Business Official
(425) 485-7272
karen.valdastri@siennatech.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
NASA missions for planetary exploration require high power, long-life Hall thrusters. However, thruster power and lifetime are limited by the erosion of plasma channel walls. Current plasma channel insulator materials, such as BN or Borosil, have the required low secondary electron emission (SEE) but are susceptible to xenon plasma erosion. New plasma channel insulator materials with low SEE yield and high xenon plasma erosion resistance are needed to increase the efficiency and the lifetime of Hall thrusters. AlN has an exceptionally high plasma erosion resistance but suffers from a high SEE yield. AlN can be a "revolutionary" replacement for BN channel insulator since it provides high plasma erosion resistance with structural robustness and high thermal conductivity if it's SEE yield can be reduced.This SBIR Phase I program will develop a revolutionary AlN plasma channel insulator with lower SEE yield and higher erosion resistance than BN and BN-SiO2 for high power, long-life Hall thrusters. In Phase I we will (i) reduce the SEE yield of AlN by microstructural engineering, and (ii) fabricate fully functional plasma channel insulators for thruster testing at NASA-GRC to determine if the reduction of SEE yield of AlN channel insulator leads to better thruster performance than BN channels.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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