NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S2.01-8706
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Precision Spacecraft Formations for Telescope Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Colloid Thruster for Attitude Control Systems (ACS) and Tip-off Control Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Busek Co., Inc.
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA 01760 - 1023
(508) 655-5565

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nathaniel Demmons
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA 01760 - 1023
(508) 655-5565

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 1 to 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose to develop and test key technologies needed for an integrated, high thrust colloid thruster system with no moving parts, for spacecraft attitude control and tip-off rotation cancellation. Busek has already successfully demonstrated the use of porous substrates as planar emitters for colloid thrusters. In this proposal we will pursue enabling technologies for such a thruster, such as a passive feedsystem and an isolation membrane for separating the propellant in the reservoir from the thruster head prior to launch. Advancements to date suggest viable approaches for the development of a cost-effective, reliable, and flexible thruster configuration.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The greatest potential use for ionic liquid-based colloid propulsion and is directly tied to the expected proliferation of clusters and constellations of micro/nano-satellites for communications, surveillance, and aggressive science missions. One application of the device proposed here is as auxiliary thrusters for tasks such as tip-off rotation cancellation or for low deltaV missions. The tip-off thruster has the benefit of eliminating the need for primary satellite thrusters to be designed to encompass mission and tip-off requirements. Also, this type of thruster would not be likely to disturb the satellite once shut down. There is no pressurized feedsystem to leak, as is a concern with cold gas thruster.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary use outside of NASA for such a thruster system would likely be for nanosats built by universities. Typically these satellites are secondary payloads and do not have propulsion at all. A miniature, low power thruster system would lengthen the operational times of such experimental missions, as well as give them some orbit shaping/raising capabilities.

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.

Electromagnetic Thrusters
Feed System Components
Micro Thrusters

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50