NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 S3.04-8822
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Propulsion Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Hall-Effect Thruster Modifications For Dual-Mode Electric Propulsion

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Starfire Industries LLC
2109 South Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820 - 0905
(217) 721-4165

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Brian E Jurczyk
2109 South Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820 - 0905
(708) 955-6691

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The integrated NASA/DoD electric propulsion objectives are for a specific mass less than 3 kg/kW while demonstrating a throttlable thrust-to-power ratio of 100:1 at a specific impulse of 1,000 sec down to 40:1 at 4,000 sec with an operational lifetime exceeding 20,000 hours. Modern Hall-effect thrusters (HETs) are a proven technology with flight heritage, established manufacturing readiness and testing channels that nearly meet the desired specifications (as shown in Figure 1). However, the major limitation is that HETs fail to achieve all four of objectives simultaneously.

This Phase I feasibility study is focused on a proof-of-concept experiment to alleviate the HET dual-mode operational envelope limitation for both high thrust-to-power and high specific impulse. Starfire Industries believes that a "low hanging fruit" modification to HETs exists, and such an improvement would be evolutionary to enable multi-mission EP systems for NASA's Science Mission Directorate and DoD platforms. Towards this end, Starfire has partnered with Aerojet Corporation to rapidly demonstrate feasibility in Phase I through experimental modification to an existing HET system. If results are confirmed, a Phase II design can be driven to yield immediate upgrades for flight-qualified HET systems for near-term payback.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This SBIR addresses the Science Mission Directorate need for spacecraft propulsive hardware with increased performance and flexibility to enable more ambitious missions requiring high duty cycles, more challenging environmental conditions, and extended operation. The successful completion of this SBIR will result in near-term high-payback for NASA's in-space propulsion teams allowing a near-term performance boost on existing HET systems without having to re-qualify the entire hardware system—saving time, money and ground testing commitments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
By extension, there are ample non-NASA commercial opportunities in the civilian satellite industry for station-keeping, de-orbit, and orbit boost applications. Plus, there are DoD mission opportunities in the immediate future for near-term funding vehicles to transition from Phase II to Phase III SBIR commercialization. Starfire will gain through licensing and partnership opportunities.

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.)
Maneuvering/Stationkeeping/Attitude Control Devices
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12