NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X2.04-9863
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Electric Propulsion Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Reservoir Cathode for Electric Space Propulsion

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
e-beam, inc.
21070 SW Tile Flat Road
Beaverton, OR 97007 - 8739
(503) 628-0703

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Bernard Vancil
21070 SW Tile Flat Road
Beaverton, OR 97007 - 8739
(503) 628-0703

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose a reservoir cathode to improve performance in both ion and Hall-effect thrusters. We propose to adapt our existing reservoir cathode technology to this purpose. Reservoir cathodes are the only emission sources that are capable of providing the necessary current density (>5.0 A/cm2) and life (>100,000 hours) for next generation high-power thrusters. More powerful thrusters are needed for interplanetary and lunar missions, including earth escape and near-earth space maneuvers. Reservoir cathodes are able to provide sufficient new barium to the cathode surface to overcome the high barium removal rates in ion engines. We have many years' experience developing reservoir cathodes. The key challenge is the stresses exerted on the cathode tube due to differential expansion and large temperature excursions. These lead to fracturing and weld failure. Our innovation solves this problem. In Phase I, a prototype is built and tested. In Phase II, we optimize for specific ion engines.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
For Mars and lunar missions and the upcoming Juno mission to Jupiter. Also, piloted interplanetary missions become feasible with sufficient cathode output and life.
Reservoir cathodes are also needed in linear beam amplifiers (traveling wave tubes and klystrons, etc.) to increase output, life, bandwidth, and frequency. This would raise data rates of wireless space communications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Any current application requiring long life and high emission density would profit from this innovation. The biggest market now is the Department of Defense for radars and communications. Other commercial applications requiring high loading and life are new high-speed x-ray tomography systems, electron beam stimulated lasers, geosynchronous satellite downlinks.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Ablative Propulsion
Maneuvering/Stationkeeping/Attitude Control Devices

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12