Compact Efficient 1 kW Electric Thruster

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Missile Defense Agency
Amount:
$49,738.00
Award Year:
1992
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
18074
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Applied Pulse Power, Inc.
140 Langmuir Lab., 95 Brown, Road, Ithaca, NY, 14850
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Steven Glidden
(607) 257-1971
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
A proof-of-concept prototype of a new type of pulsed plasma thruster with a specific impulse of 3000s will be built. Based upon a recently developed plasma source, the "X-line thruster" concept operates by inductively driving an electrodeless discharge in a small volume of gas, and then accelerating the resulting plasma with a pulsed magnetic field. A novel continuous flow gas feed and magnetic field configuration makes it possible to build a 1kW class thruster in a volume of about 1 liter. By operating at a 20 kHz repetition rate, only a fraction of a joule is needed per drive pulse, allowing a simple circuit design with small, lightweight, reliable capacitors and solid-state switching to be used. High gas efficiency, electrical efficiency of 30-50% and long component life are projected in steady state operation. The gas feed arrangement permits scaling the X-line thruster to larger area and higher average power without penalty in gas or electrical efficiency, or in repetition rate.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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