NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:High-Power Electric Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE:Accelerated Testing of High Temperature Permanent Magnets for Spacecraft Propulsion

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
924 Links Avenue
Landisville ,PA 17538 - 1615
(717) 898 - 2294

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jinfang   Liu
924 Links Avenue
Landisville, PA  17538 -1615
(717) 898 - 2294

High temperature permanent magnet materials play an important role in NASA's space missions in electric propulsion, energy generation and storage and other applications. We propose to devise accelerated testing methods to test and predict the service life of SmCo based ultra high temperature permanent magnets in a high vacuum environment at high temperatures in excess of 400 degrees C. The proposed research will enable designers to appropriately design and use high temperature permanent magnets to optimize their performance.
The proposed efforts will measure outgassing rates through total mass loss methods based on ASTM standards at temperatures from 300 to 700 degrees C at vacuum levels of 10 exp-5 Torr or higher. The microstructure and chemical composition variations at the near-interface region after exposure to high vacuum and high temperatures will be analyzed with scanning electron microscopy and auger electron spectroscopy or energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Magnetic properties will be measured and modeled with finite element analysis. These methods will enable prediction of reliability and performance of high temperature magnets over long space missions through short-term test methods.

NASA applications include uses for electric propulsion of NASA's Jupiter Missions and other missions. These potential applications consist of high power Hall Effect Thrusters and ion thrusters supporting NASA's NSTAR and NEXT programs. During space re-entry, integral and addressable magnetic characteristics in the flight surfaces could permit use of the plasma layer for heat rejection, power generation, or aerodynamic control. Advanced Stirling and Brayton cycle engine technology for nuclear power driven systems will benefit from advanced understanding of magnet characteristics in high temperature high vacuum environments. High temperature magnetic bearings and rotary generators for kilowatt and Megawatt power gas turbine systems for planetary moon and Mars missions will also benefit from this research. Furthermore, high temperature magnets in a vacuum environment could be used for energy storage / attitude control flywheels.

Traveling wave tubes have been used in NASA's space exploration, satellite communication, missiles, combat aircraft and other defense applications. Higher temperature magnets useable in vacuum could significantly improve the performance of the traveling wave tubes and can improve manufacturability of TWT's which are baked to over 400 degrees C in a UHV environment.
Other applications for high temperature and high vacuum resistant magnets would include equipment for ultra-high vacuum equipment and electronic materials processing. Such applications can include magnets used in the chamber of sputtering systems in Halbach arrays and for supporting the move towards UHV sputtering. Some specialty molten electronic material mixing equipment requires magnets to operate at 550 degrees C with very low outgassing or valuable process material would be poisoned. Vacuum gauges and manipulator devices that need to survive bake outs up to 400 degrees C in high vacuum would also benefit from these proposed studies.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Controls-Structures Interaction (CSI)
Electromagnetic Thrusters
Energy Storage
Launch Assist (Electromagnetic, Hot Gas and Pneumatic)
MHD and Related Conversion
Micro Thrusters
Superconductors and Magnetic
Thermodynamic Conversion
Thermoelectric Conversion

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12