NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 S3.02-9525
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Propulsion Systems for Robotic Science Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE: Cathode for Electric Space Propulsion Utilizing Iodine as Propellant

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
e beam, Inc.
21070 Southwest Tile Flat Road
Beaverton, OR 97007 - 8739
(503) 628-0703

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Bernard Vancil
bernie@ebeaminc.com
21070 Southwest Tile Flat Road
Beaverton, OR 97007 - 8739
(503) 628-0703

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Bernard Vancil
bernie@ebeaminc.com
21070 Southwest Tile Flat Road
Beaverton, OR 97007 - 8739
(503) 628-0703

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Propulsion Systems for Robotic Science Missions is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose a hollow reservoir cathode suitable for use in ion or Hall thrusters which utilizes iodine as a propellant. Reservoir cathodes have several unique features which will allow them to resist the corrosive effects of iodine. Chief amongst these is that the barium-emission-material-containing reservoir is isolated from the iodine flow. This allows free barium to be produced in an environment free of iodine.
Furthermore, barium production rates in reservoir cathodes can be adjusted to very high levels -- high enough to overcome the deleterious effects of iodine at the cathode's emitting surface. Reservoir cathodes carry a barium supply that is 100 times that of conventional cathodes.
Furthermore, the reservoir cathode inserts can be made of materials other than tungsten. This is not possible with impregnated cathodes. These materials can be selected for their resistance to iodine attack. They include osmium, rhodium, and iridium.
NASA is pursuing iodine EP because of iodine's advantages over xenon, especially for small satellite propulsion. Most important are its low cost and its high storage density. Also, it requires no high-pressure, large and heavy pressure vessels.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA's primary interest is for iodine thrusters of less than 1 KW. It is also interested in powers over 10 KW. Nanosats are the biggest market with iodine supply between 1 and 10 kg and power at about 200 watts. A 12U Cubesat sponsored by NASA Glenn Research Center will employ an iodine ion thruster. It has a crucial need for reliable cathodes, both for discharge and neutralization. NASA Glenn and the Marshall Space Flight Center are co-sponsoring the iSat (iodine satellite) project. It, too, needs reliable cathodes. 2,000 to 2,750 small satellites are planned for this project.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Busek Co. is the main non-NASA producer of iodine thrusters. We have been in communication with it to supply cathodes if this project is successful. CubeSats are the largest non-NASA market. They are the mainstay of university and private space science projects.

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.)
Fuels/Propellants
Prototyping
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59