NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 18.04-7800

PROJECT TITLE: A Piezo Actuated Multi-Function Valve

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

A Phase 1 NASA SBIR program is proposed to research and develop a Piezoelectric Multi-Function Valve (PMFV) for use in Hall or Ion Xenon propulsion feed systems for Nasa use and for evaluation by interested commercial manufacturers. Current spacecraft thruster Xenon feed systems are complex, 2 stage mass flow control systems consisting of many discreet components. These feed systems normally contain central pressure regulation placing operation of all satellite thrusters at risk should failure occur. A revolutionary "disributed" PMFV systems provides 1 stage flow control at each thruster precluding the loss of all spacecraft thrusters from central feed system failure. The lower mass, lower power PMFV contains a piezoelectric stack that directly controls flow using a variety of feedback options, improving reliability, performance and life, while increasing flexability. The new Marotta PMFV system provides 3 Xenon functions in a single, compact component: (1) positive isolation. (2) significant pressure reduction. (3) high flow rate turn-down capability for thruster size versatility and power management. The PMFV technology, coupled with either pressure, mass flow, or Hall thruster discharge current sensing, provides reliable, accurate, and long-life distribution of Xenon gas to thruster ports in the simplest possible way.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

We firmly believe that the Multi-Function Valve technology currently being used by Marotta will ultimately lead to a product which is widely used in electric propulsion feed systems for interplanetary spacecraft and the next generation commercial, scientific and defense satellites. We believe that the Marotta system approach based on this hardware will be used in traditional large GEO satellites as well as the smallest LEO constellations (similar to Teledesic) where tens or hundreds of satellites are envisioned in each constellation.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Derek (Tate) Schappell
Marotta Scientific Controls, Inc.
78 Boonton Ave., P.O. Box 427
Montville , NJ 07045

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Marotta Scientific Controls, Inc.
78 Boonton Avenue, P.O. Box 427
Montville , NJ 07045