SBIR 95-1 SOLICITATION
A 0.001 lbf (0.0044 Newton) cold gas Microthruster using Microelectromechanical System
(MEMS) design and fabrication methods will be designed and analyzed. MEMS
technologies, applied for the first time in this type of device, provides a Microthruster that
is smaller, lighter, faster, and lower power than ever before used in the space program.
Extremely fast valve response and miniature nozzle size provide extremely small impulse
bit and excellent repeatability characteristics.
Microsize propulsion systems, using Microthrusters, will be needed for orbital propulsion
(3 axis stabilization, etc.) of microspacecraft. Present thrusters are larger and more
expensive than needed for microspacecraft. Traditional thrusters generally use solenoid on-
off valves and nozzles comprised of many different parts, with the parts individually made
by traditional machine shop cutting tools. Parts are individually assembled using
conventional attachment and sealing methods.
Silicon is most familiar as the material used to make micro-size, inexpensive multi-million
element electronic microprocessors. The miniaturization, precision, low cost/high volume
benefits of silicon batch processing have revolutionized the electronics industry. A
derivative technology called micromachining allows precision MEMS to be inexpensively
batch processed from silicon that possess excellent producibility and low cost attributes.
Potential Commercial Applications:
Marotta envisions several commercial market opportunities for the Microthruster (which
includes Microvalve, Microactuator and Micronozzle design technologies).
Micro- Micro- Micro- Micro-
Thruster Actuator Valve Nozzle
1. Commercial Satellite Propuls X X X
(Fluid Controls - Gas, Liquid
2. Commercial Satellite Microactuators X
3. Robot Microactuators X
4. Drug Infusion Devices X
5. Ventilators (breathing assist devices) X X
6. Gas Analysis Instruments X X
7. Liquid Analysis Instruments X
8. Biotechnology Processing X
Name and Address of Offeror:
Marotta Scientific Controls, Inc., 17671 Irvine Blvd., # 208, Tustin, CA 92680
Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) &
Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Programs
Electronic Management System (EMS)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
The SBIR/STTR EMS site is maintained by Steve
Hu, Hughes STX.
For comments and questions, contact
Updated: Feb. 7, 1996