NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S2.01-8791
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Precision Spacecraft Formations for Telescope Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Micro Pulsed Inductive Thruster with Solid Fuel Option (uPIT_SF)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Eagle Harbor Technologies, Inc.
321 High School Rd NE, STE D3, #179
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 - 2648
(206) 780-3667

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Timothy Ziemba
321 High School Rd NE, STE D3, #179
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 - 2648
(206) 780-3667

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The Micro Pulsed Inductive Thruster with Solid Fuel Option (µPIT_SF) is a high-precision impulse bit electromagnetic plasma micro-thruster. The µPIT prototype is a small (< 230 g) thruster that produces and accelerates plasma. In the solid fuel mode, µPIT_SF is able to substantially extend the performance of standard PPT systems by ionization and heating of the high density neutral gas produced after the arc. A small power-processing unit (PPU) is attached directly to the thruster which isolates the high voltage igniter section from the main spacecraft bus. Further development of the µPIT has implications that could include dramatic weight reductions of onboard station keeping and attitude control systems for miniature spacecraft and increased thruster efficiencies. Anticipated development of the µPIT in Phase 1 of the proposed work would lead to a 2nd generation prototype at or near the NASA TRL 5. Anticipated results from a Phase 2 program would be to produce a prototype at NASA TRL 6 with a corresponding experimental determination of the thruster's Isp levels and operational characteristics including a thrust measurement.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The µPIT has many NASA applications in the areas requiring the use of micro- propulsion systems, attitude control and station keeping. Specifically, the µPIT system could function as the primary propulsion unit for micro-spacecraft weighing less than 5 kg. The µPIT system has a high precision (< 10 µs) controllable plasma pulse length. This allows for high-resolution impulse bit control, which can be modified with each pulse. Integration of a µPIT system onto constellation spacecrafts could allow for real time precision attitude control. This could be especially useful for NASA science missions similar to the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) gravitational wave detection experiment where extremely precise spacecraft attitude control will be required over long periods.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
As miniature spacecraft technology progresses, the µPIT has many potential applications for both civilian and military commercialization. These include station keeping and attitude control systems for small communication satellites and precision pointing systems. Other non-NASA applications could include materials coating applications where the precise plasma control available with the µPIT system could lead to more uniform thin film deposition. Additionally, the µPIT system can generate the initial Teflon arc at atmospheric pressure. A modified system could potentially be designed as a low weight, low power surface decontamination unit, which has several applications in areas from homeland security to medical instrument sterilization.

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
Micro Thrusters

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56