NASA STTR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 T3.02-9830
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Power and Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE:600 Volt Stretched Lens Array for Solar Electric Propulsion

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (SBC): RESEARCH INSTITUTION (RI):
NAME: ENTECH, Inc. NAME:Auburn University
ADDRESS:1077 Chisolm Trail ADDRESS:231 Leach Center
CITY:Keller CITY:Auburn University
STATE/ZIP:TX  76248-7000 STATE/ZIP:AL  36849-5320
PHONE: (817) 379-0100 PHONE: (334) 844-5894

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name,Email)
Mark   O'Neill
mjoneill@entechsolar.com

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Over the past six years, ENTECH, Auburn, NASA, and other organizations have developed a new space photovoltaic array called the Stretched Lens Array (SLA), which offers unprecedented performance (e.g., >80 kW/cu.m. stowed power, >300 W/sq.m. areal power, and >300 W/kg specific power in the very near term) and cost-effectiveness (>75% savings in $/W compared to planar high-efficiency arrays). SLA achieves these outstanding attributes by employing flexible Fresnel lenses for optical concentration (e.g., 8X), thereby minimizing solar cell area, mass, and cost. SLA's small cell size (85% less cell area than planar high-efficiency arrays) also allows super-insulation and super-shielding of the solar cells to enable high-voltage operation and radiation hardness in the space environment. Recent studies show that SLA offers a 3-4X advantage over competing arrays in specific power for many NASA Exploration missions. ENTECH and Auburn, with Aerojet support, propose to develop and demonstrate a special version of SLA, specifically optimized for Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) missions. This SLA for SEP will operate at 600 V to direct-drive an Aerojet Hall-effect electric thruster. Such a combination of an ultra-light, high-voltage, radiation-hard SLA with a high-specific-impulse electric thruster will have widespread applicability to many NASA, DOD, and commercial missions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The 600 V Stretched Lens Array (SLA) for Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technology proposed under this STTR program will have major applications for near-term and far-term NASA Exploration Missions. One major NASA application is SLA for SEP technology applied to reusable cargo tugs, both for near-term robotic and human missions to the moon, and also for longer term missions to Mars and beyond. One reusable cargo tug using SLA for SEP technology can save NASA over $3 Billion in launch costs alone, compared to conventional chemical propulsion delivery of 110 metric tons of cargo to the lunar surface over a five year period. Other NASA applications of SLA for SEP technology include efficient orbit raising or lowering of spacecraft for science missions in orbit about the earth, moon, planets, or asteroids, and large-scale deep space science missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The 600 V Stretched Lens Array (SLA) for Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technology proposed under this STTR program will also have major applications for near-term and far-term DOD and commercial space missions. For DOD missions, SLA for SEP technology could be applied to efficient repositioning of space assets for specific missions. For commercial missions, SLA for SEP technology could be applied to efficient orbit raising of communication satellites from low earth orbit (LEO) or geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) to geostationary orbit (GEO). Over the longer term, transportation of cargo in support of commercial exploitation of space resources and the advent of space tourism could be most efficiently and cost effectively done using SLA for SEP technology.

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.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Cooling
Electromagnetic Thrusters
Electrostatic Thrusters
Kinematic-Deployable
Micro Thrusters
Optical & Photonic Materials
Photovoltaic Conversion
Power Management and Distribution
Radiation Shielding Materials
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Renewable Energy
Semi-Conductors/Solid State Device Materials
Simulation Modeling Environment
Solar
Testing Facilities
Testing Requirements and Architectures


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:14