NASA SBIR 00-1 SOLICITATION

FORM 9B - PROJECT SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER 00-1 20.02-8411 (Chron: 001590 )
PROJECT TITLE
High Performance Capacitor for Pulsed Plasma Thruster



TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
A high energy density capacitor will be developed utilizing Chemical Vapor Deposited diamond as the dielectric. The energy density of diamond multi-layer stacked or comb structure capacitors can potentially exceed 20 J/g. Even more modest energy densities of 2 J/g significantly exceed the current state-of-the-art capacitors used for Pulsed Plasma Thrusters on spacecraft. The use of high energy density diamond capacitors in PPT systems could reduce the mass of the propulsion system by 30%. Previous measurements of diamond test capacitors indicate breakdown voltages in the 3 to 4 kV/micron range and a dielectric constant of 5.5. The high temperature capability of diamond and its non-dipole crystal structure will allow rapid charge/discharge cycles without damage. During Phase I, a single layer test capacitor 5 cm. in diameter will provide 35 nano-farads of capacitance and 0.16 Joules of energy with an energy density of 0.04 J/g. Phase II will develop a multi-layer capacitor in a stacked configuration to increase the energy density, capacitance, and total energy stored in the capacitor. The Phase II device is expected to have energy density greater than 0.5 J/g, provide 1 micro-farad capacitance, and store 4.5 Joules of energy and reduce PPT system mass by 30%.



POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The targeted commercial application of this technology is its use in pulsed plasma thrusters for spacecraft. This niche market requires high energy density, high temperature, radiation tolerance, and high reliability. Once the technology is developed, it will find applications in many commercial areas including high power and voltage applications such as RF and non-traditional applications such as non-lethal shocker technology for personnel control and pulsed power systems to disable automobiles in high speed chases. In addition, future electric automobiles which utilize dynamic braking to maximize efficiency could use high energy density low loss capacitor technology.



NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Theron Henderson
Jaycor, Inc.
4970 Corporate Dr. St. 110
Huntsville , AL   35805 - 6230



NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Jaycor, Inc.
4970 Corporate Dr. St. 110
Huntsville , AL   35805 - 6230