NASA SBIR 2020-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary


PROPOSAL NUMBER:
 20-1- Z10.04-6073
SUBTOPIC TITLE:
 Manufacturing processes enabling lower-cost, in-space electric propulsion thrusters
PROPOSAL TITLE:
 Robust Ceramics for Hall-Effect Thruster Discharge Channels
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Advanced Ceramics Manufacturing
7800 South Nogales Highway
Tucson, AZ 85756
(520) 547-0850

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

Name:
Zachary Wing
E-mail:
zwing@acmtucson.com
Address:
7800 South Nogales Highway Tucson, AZ 85756 - 9645
Phone:
(520) 547-0861

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

Name:
Mark Angier
E-mail:
mangier@acmtucson.com
Address:
7800 South Nogales Highway Tucson, AZ 85756 - 9645
Phone:
(520) 547-0856
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 1
End: 3
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Electric propulsion for space is attractive for NASA, military, and commercial missions. NASA has identified manufacturing issues that have resulted in significant costs to achieve performance repeatability and hardware reliability. Without addressing the process and materials issues, both the production of existing thrusters and the development of new thrusters will continue to face the prospect of high costs.

Current Hall effect thrusters make use of hexagonal boron nitride (BN) for the discharge channel in which plasma is generated and accelerated. Current materials have exhibited substantial lot-to-lot variability. Such material property inconsistencies have thus necessitated costly thruster design features to improve survivability margins against mechanical and thermal shock.

ACM has identified a key approach to improve the lot-to-lot consistency of BN based channel materials. ACM’s PAL process technology will produce a highly uniform microstructure after hot pressing. This will produce a high performance, repeatable BN material that is ideal for Hall effect thruster channels.

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

The proposed technology will find NASA use in HERMES propulsion system, in future deep space propulsion systems, and for station keeping of near Earth research satellites.

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

The proposed technology will find use in commercial satellite propulsion systems.

Duration: 6

Form Generated on 06/29/2020 21:01:41