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

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 25840
Amount: $59,976.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1994
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
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William P. Peschel
 (818) 591-0278
Business Contact
Phone: () -
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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