NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Deep Space Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE:Shared Magnetics Hall Thruster

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Busek Co. Inc.
11 Tech Circle
Natick ,MA 01760 - 2213
(508) 655 - 5565

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Rachel   Tedrake
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA  01760 -2213
(508) 655 - 5565

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In the proposed Phase II program, Busek Co. will demonstrate an innovative methodology for clustering Hall thrusters into a high performance, very high power propulsion system. To fulfill the full range of Hall thruster power requirements (100 kW ? 1 MW) envisioned by NASA for orbit insertion, planetary transfers and manned exploration, rather than developing a >500kW system with one or two large thrusters there are clear advantages to reach the very high power by clustering multiple thrusters of lower power. In the Phase I program, Busek demonstrated a shared magnetics clustering concept that combined the benefits of simple clustering with additional advantages such as the mass savings and power loss reduction of a shared magnetic structure. In Phase II, Busek will demonstrate an alternative shared magnetics concept of clustering and design, fabricate and test a sub-scale nested thruster. The nested thruster consists of two concentric discharge cavities that share a portion of the magnetic structure. Busek will also continue to investigate the shared magnetics concept of the Phase I program and merge the nested concept into the shared magnetics cluster architecture.

Busek is uniquely positioned to implement the proposed program having expertise in both the clustering of Hall thrusters and shared magnetics thruster development.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The cluster will enable cargo and propellant transport, pre-positioning missions for lunar and Mars exploration, and enable a reusable orbital tug. The cluster's redundancy is a benefit over a single, large thruster. Moreover, the cluster can be throttled to run at high Isp or high T/P and can grow or shrink to fit different missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
As communication satellites evolve to use all electric propulsion, there is a need for larger power thrusters for orbit raising. The shared magnetic Hall thruster clusters, in principle, can be applied across the spectrum of thruster sizes. The Air Force anticipates a need for very high clusters of Hall thrusters in the 100kW to 150kW range for orbit transfer vehicles, space tugs, and re-supply vessels.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52