Novel High Velocity Ion Beam Generation for Space Propulsion

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9300-13-M-1002
Agency Tracking Number: F131-170-2152
Amount: $149,995.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: AF131-170
Solicitation Number: 2013.1
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, -
DUNS: 184629491
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Yu-Hui Chiu
 Director, Applied Sciences
 (508) 655-5565
Business Contact
 Judy Budny
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: Busek Co. Inc. proposes to explore the feasibility of a highly scalable miniature ion beam generator system capable of producing atomic and/or molecular beams with velocities corresponding to energies of 50-100 keV and suitable for Space applications. The proposed system combines the technologies of ion beam generation from an electrospray ion source utilizing ionic liquids and efficient high electric field generation by compact pyro-electric crystals. For the Phase I effort, Busek will demonstrate the feasibility by designing and testing key components of a novel single emitter electrospray ion source powered by pyroelectric crystals. We shall model the ion source with emphases upon effects of crystal temperatures on the electric field created and field enhancement experienced by the ionic liquids. We will test the hypothesis by conducting experiments to seek the generation of ion currents of either positive or negative polarities. The Phase II effort shall fabricate a prototype ion source based on the Phase I findings and demonstrate its operation. BENEFIT: The proposed novel ion source combines the benefits of the efficiency and compactness of electrospray ionic-liquid ion emission source, with a low power and compact electric field generation source provided by pyroelectric materials. Such a device is applicable to a variety of applications ranging from energetic ion beams for materials processing, to small high specific impulse electric propulsion devices and potentially application in remote sensing.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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