NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 S3.01-8932
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Precision Formations for Interferometry
PROPOSAL TITLE:Field-Effect Modulated Electro-Osmotic Pumps for High Precision Colloid Thrusters

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Busek Co. Inc.
11 Tech Circle
Natick ,MA 01760 - 1023
(508) 655 - 5565

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Charles J. Gasdaska
chas@busek.com
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA  01760 -1023
(508) 655 - 5565

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The ability to precisely control the position of satellites is a critical enabling technology for space missions involving interferometric arrays. One proposed mission, LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna), would use an array of 3 satellites whose relative position is monitored and controlled to an accuracy of 10 nm. Precise station-keeping such as this demands precise, high stability thrusters supplied with propellant flows on the order of microliters/min and producing micro-newtons of thrust. These requirements are difficult or impossible to meet with traditional thrusters and feed systems such as cold-gas thrusters or monopropellants. The proposed program will evaluate the use of electro-osmosis to supply and control the flow of ionic liquid propellants to micronewton colloid thrusters. In addition, the use of a gate electrode to control the surface charge and therefore the magnitude and direction of flow will be examined as will the use of AC fields to limit electrolysis effects. Phase I will provide basic information on the electro-osmotic behavior of ionic liquids using simple test devices and electrospray emitters. Phase II will involve detailed design work to fabricate a practical propellant feed system using electro-osmotic pumps.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
A successful development program would lead to a feed system which is easily scalable for producing arrays of electrospray emitters and should provide more uniform thrust and finer control then current systems relying on a single control valve and manifold to feed multiple emitters. Achieving uniform flow in a single valve system is difficult. Individually addressable EOF pumps would allow for much more uniformity in output. This development would have immediate application for NASA space missions, especially those based on interferometric arrays where precision station-keeping and finely controlled thrusters are essential.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Beyond space applications, there are numerous commercial applications. Microfluidic devices will become ubiquitous as applications in medical (drug dispensing), biological (DNA microarrays, biohazard testers) and analytical (microscale chromatography, microreactors and mixing reactors) fields expand. The use of microscale reactors for analyzing reactions or performing chemical combinatorial analysis will increase driven by the need for faster reaction analysis while minimizing waste streams. For all of these applications a small robust pump with no moving parts?such as the electro-osmotic pumps proposed for development under this program?would be highly desirable. The size of the market is such that there should be opportunities for both large companies mass-producing microfluidic devices along with niche players concentrating on small volume applications.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Feed System Components
Micro Thrusters


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12