Microwave Powered Plasma On-Orbir Thruster System Using a Non-Resonant Plasma Generator

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$59,976.00
Award Year:
1994
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
25840
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Aero-plasma, Inc.
23974 Craftsman Road, Calabasas, CA, 91302
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
William P. Peschel
(818) 591-0278
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
An innovative Microwave-Powered Plasma Thruster concept for On-Orbit application is proposed based on its significant ISP magnitude advantages over the electric arcjet thrusters attained by reduction of inherent arcjet energy losses resulting as a consequence of the pinch plasma arc used for heating of the arcjet propellant gases. The proposed approach is based on microwave gas turbine engine ignition/stabilization technology developed by API and tested in component test beds and on a jet engine. This effort has demonstrated the capability on non-resonant plasma generators and has characterized the efficiency and quantified the energy losses; and the results along with the known, high efficiency energy coupling characteristics of microwave plasmas support that a higher efficiency is obtainable. The emphasis of the proposed effort will be to design, fabricate and test a thruster for precise thrust and ISP quantification. API has devised a precision thrust measurement technique suitable for the microware-powered plasma thruster configuration that can accurately quantify the low-power thruster thrust levels. Data from these results will be used to produce a thruster for a Phase II flight prototype Demonstration Test.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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