NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Spacecraft Technology for Micro/Nanosats
PROPOSAL TITLE:Micro Resistojet for Small Satellites

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)
Vlad   Hruby
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA  01760 -2213
(508) 655 - 5565

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Micro-resistojets offer an excellent combination of simplicity, performance and wet system mass for small satellites (<100 kg, <50 watts) requiring mN level propulsion and low to moderate delta V (<500 m/sec). In Phase I, the potential of a unique micro-resistojet concept suited for low power level was established , and "green" methanol, cracked thermally (without a catalyst) was identified as the propellant of choice. An Isp of 250 seconds is expected.

The overall objective of the Phase II Program is to develop an Engineering Model (EM) of the "green" methanol/water fueled micro-resistojet system. The system will be as near as possible to a flight system without having specific mission requirements and will utilize off the shelf power processing components and Lab View software to simulate flight system components in order to minimize cost. Target design specifications for the system are: Thrust - 5.4*10-3 newtons; Specific Impulse - 250 seconds; Mass flow - 2.2*10-3 grams/second (0.167 ccm liquid); Input Power - Less than 20 watts including losses; and Operating Life ? 1000 hours.

The EM will be delivered to NASA at the conclusion of Phase II following a 100 hour sustained test at Busek.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
All missions involving small spacecrafts (< 100 kg) that require propulsion with mission delta V up to several hundred meters/sec will benefit from the proposed micro resistojet. These can include missions in LEO that require drag make up or missions that require station keeping ot modest orbit changing In standby mode, the micro-resistojet can be utilized for applications requiring small impulse bit. A potentially attractive application de-orbiting satellites at the end of their life.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The same logic that identified the applications for the NASA missions applies in non-NASA missions. As is normal, however, commercial applications with a strict bottom line and strict underwriter influence will mature when NASA or DOD missions create sufficient commercial investor confidence to employ the device.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52