Magnetically Enhanced Vacuum Arc Thruster

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NAS3-03039
Agency Tracking Number: 023979
Amount: $69,457.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2235 Polvorosa Avenue, Suite 230, San Leandro, CA, 94577
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jochen Schein
 Principal Investigator
 (510) 483-4156
Business Contact
 Mahadevan Krishnan
Title: President
Phone: (510) 483-4156
Research Institution
Alameda Applied Sciences Corporation proposes to develop a new type of electric propulsion device dubbed the Magnetically Enhanced Vacuum Arc Thruster (MVAT). This thruster is itself a variant on the Vacuum Arc Thruster that has been demonstrated via a recently concluded Phase I SBIR contracts from NASA. The VAT was verified to be a throttleable low mass (150g) high efficiency (10% measured), high Isp (1000-3000s) electric propulsion device that can be remotely adjusted to deliver individual impulse bits from 0.25?Ns to 50?Ns with repetition rates varying from 1?1000 Hz while all the time providing an Isp of >1000s. The MVAT proposed here is a pulsed device that uses the magnetic field produced by the inductor in the PPU to increase the ISP even further and hence improve thrust and efficiency. The pulsed magnetic field will also be used to confine expanding plasma plume thereby limiting contamination effects. The MVAT can provide a wide range of impulse bits and a variety of repetition rates, which could satisfy coarse and ultra-fine control demands integrated in the same simple system, while offering low mass (<300g including the PPU), simplicity (no moving parts), high efficiency (?15%) and low cost of manufacturing.

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

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government