NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 S2.01-9277
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Precision Spacecraft Formations for Telescope Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Miniaturized Low-Power Piezo Microvalve for NanoSat and CubeSat Propulsion

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)
Douglas Spence
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA 01760 - 1023
(508) 655-5565

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 5
End: 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In the Phase I effort, Busek developed a miniature precision piezo-actuated microvalve weighing 32g and occupying 4.5 cm^3. The valve demonstrated continuous flow regulation of 0-12 sccm nitrogen (15psi supply pressure) thru 0-500 sccm nitrogen (1000psi supply pressure), with a leak rate of better than 1.0 x 10^-5 mbar-l/s. The simple, low part-count design was developed with a critical eye toward low-rejection rate manufacturability, with several sensitive assembly operations successfully advanced toward, robust, reliable processes. Resilience under aggressive shock loading, which exhibited negligible effects upon valve operation, was demonstrated.

For the Phase II effort, Busek shall continue refining critical assembly processes to improve reliability in assembly, eliminating remaining elastomers in order to achieve an all-metal architecture. Additionally, a supplementary feature for downstream volume compensation (for regulation of incompressible liquids affected by induced flows due to mechanism actuation and/or liquid thermal expansion; a necessary feature for colloid thruster operation) shall be developed. Supporting the colloid application shall be valve driver electronics able to float at thruster beam Voltage. The design shall be validated via vibration and thermovac testing, and culminate in operation of both a gas-based thruster, as well as a colloid thruster to validate the volume compensation feature.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential NASA applications for the proposed technology include the following:

• Enhanced precision control and decreased valve power consumption for cold gas thrusters. Currently, cold gas thrusters operate using 'bang bang' valves that require significant power and relatively coarse thrust control. The proposed valve design requires negligible power due to its piezo-based actuator, and its flow resolution promises to enhance greatly the controllability of cold gas thrusters, enabling their use in higher-precision formation flying missions.
• Precision metering of gaseous constituents for chemical propulsion and miniature ion and Hall thrusters.
• Improvement to the extant fluid-regulating microvalve for liquid propulsion applications.
• Propellant valves for colloid thrusters on LISA mission

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential Non-NASA commercial applications for the proposed technology include the following:

• Precision metering of gases for chemical/process/pharmaceutical/semiconductor industries.
• Replacement of arrayed and independently valved sonic chokes with a single valve.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Electromagnetic Thrusters
Electrostatic Thrusters
Feed System Components
Micro Thrusters

Form Generated on 08-06-10 17:29