NASA STTR 2019-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 19-1- T2.03-2775
 Performance Demonstration of High Payoff Propulsion Technology: Rotating Detonation Engine and Dual Mode Ionic Liquid
 Bimodal Ion-Chemical Thruster System
Name:  Espace, Inc.
Name:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Street:  30 Lynn Avenue
Street:  77 Massachusetts Avenue
City:  Hull
City:  Cambridge
State/Zip:  MA 02045-2216
State/Zip:  MA 02139-4307
PHONE:  (781) 925-3893
PHONE:  (617) 258-0742

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Paulo Lozano
77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139 - 4307
(617) 258-0742

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Francois Martel
30 Lynn Avenue Hull, MA 02045 - 2216
(781) 925-3893
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 3
End: 5
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

A top candidate “green” monopropellant proposed as a safe replacement for hydrazine in spacecraft systems is also shown in tests to be a high performance propellant for ion electrospray thrusters. The proposed effort is to take full advantage of these remarkable characteristics to develop an efficient bimodal ion-chemical thruster system using a common propellant supply tank.

The expected mass and volume savings, increased propellant use efficiency and the added flexibility in thrusting options (high thrust with moderate Isp and lower thrust with high Isp) will significantly augment the operational propulsion and attitude control ranges, especially in small spacecraft applications. 

The Phase I task is to design and test an efficient propellant management system interfacing the high pressure monopropellant tank with the ion electrospray thruster arrays. This will pave the way for a complete protoflight development in Phase II, including multiple thruster arrays and control electronics that can be integrated into a space mission.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

NASA applications are many, as most space system designs attempt to minimize bus mass and volume budgets to maximize payload capacity, and are concerned about propulsion. The combined capability for agile maneuvering, precision attitude control and thrusting and extended mission lifetime applies to missions in earth orbits or lunar and interplanetary space, and also fractionated observatories requiring multiple platforms with good control performances. Geosciences, heliophysics, astrophysics and lunar or interplanetary exploration will benefit.


Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Non-NASA space systems, from commercial or government organizations will also benefit from the bimodal propulsion advantages in performance ranges, mass and volume budget savings and extended lifetime. The potential applications are numerous and include earth observation, monitoring and communication systems, satellite constellations, robotic systems to assemble in space or retrieve debris.

Duration: 6

Form Generated on 06/16/2019 23:01:03