NASA SBIR 2021-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
21-2- Z10.04-2032
Phase 1 Contract #:
80NSSC21C0165
Subtopic Title:
Materials, Processes, and Technologies for Advancing In-Space Electric Propulsion Thrusters
Proposal Title:
High Current Plasma Cathode for Efficient Space Propulsion

Small Business Concern

   
Firm:
          
E-beam, Inc.
          
   
Address:
          
21070 Southwest Tile Flat Road, Beaverton, OR 97007
          
   
Phone:
          
(503) 628-0703                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Principal Investigator:

   
Name:
          
Bernard Vancil
          
   
E-mail:
          
bernie@ebeaminc.com
          
   
Address:
          
21070 Southwest Tile Flat Road, OR 97007 - 8739
          
   
Phone:
          
(503) 628-0703                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Business Official:

   
Name:
          
Bernard Vancil
          
   
E-mail:
          
bernie@ebeaminc.com
          
   
Address:
          
21070 Southwest Tile Flat Road, OR 97007 - 8739
          
   
Phone:
          
(503) 628-0703                                                                                                                                                                                
          

Summary Details:

   
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :                                                                                                                                                          
Begin: 5
End: 8
          
          
     
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words):

A > 100 A plasma discharge cathode for ionization and neutralization is offered. It will incorporate two breakthrough cathode options. These allow much higher loading, lower temperature, and smaller size than current art. In order to utilize these smaller cathodes, a novel geometry is offered. The bulk of the discharge is moved outside the hollow cathode to a region between the cathode and an orifice cup which surrounds the cathode. This allows expansion of the plasma volume to a magnitude at which it can easily supply the large currents (> 100 A) requested. Yet the plasma is still confined and maintained at a density that minimizes trans-impedance from the cathode through the plasma, through the orifice to the anode. This allows very large electron currents at very low anode voltages (under 20 volts).

The two cathodes are hollow scandate and hollow reservoir with an osmium tungsten insert. Both were perfected in the last 10 years. Scandate cathodes provide > 100 A/cm2 at under 1000º Cb.

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

Very powerful (100 kW) thrusters are needed to move heavy payloads to Mars, the moon and other planets. These plasma cathodes help meet this requirement.

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

For orbit raising of heavy geosynchronous satellites.

          
          
     
Duration:     24
          
          

Form Generated on 02/18/2022 18:03:03