NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-2 H2.02-9050
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In-Space Propulsion Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lifetime Improvement of Large Scale Green Monopropellant Thrusters via Novel, Long-Life Catalysts

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

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

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Judy Budny
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA 01760 - 1023
(508) 655-5565

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
In-Space Propulsion Systems is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Busek proposes to develop and life-test a flight-weight, 5N class green monopropellant thruster in Phase II. The most important feature that sets this thruster apart from other similar devices will be the use of an innovative, long-life catalyst. This proprietary catalyst, constructed without any bed plate or ceramic substrate, has the potential to suppress catalyst-related performance degradation problems that often plague monopropellant thrusters. The Phase II thruster in essence will be a matured version of the highly-successful Phase I prototype, with the addition of high-temperature nozzle material. To further demonstrate the design's scalability, a 100N class thruster will be developed and demonstrated at the end of Phase II.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential NASA applications of both the 5N and 100N green monopropellant thrusters include missions to low Earth orbits and beyond. Near-term examples are the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) at GEO, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) at GEO, the International X-ray Observatory (IXO) at L2, and the next Mars robotics mission scheduled for 2020 launch. As with state-of-the-art reaction control rockets Busek's green monopropellant thrusters are radiation-cooled and restart-able, making them a simple yet reliable propulsion option. In addition, the green propellant's storability and low-toxicity will be attractive for NASA's future manned spaceflight. Without the need for excessive safety measures, overall operational cost for the manned missions will be reduced.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The market size for green monopropellant thrusters is very large. In addition to NASA, all branches of the military are interested in deploying them for tactical or in-space applications. The non-toxic storable feature of the propellant enables preloaded propulsion systems that can accommodate rapid launch operations. Because Busek's thrusters have the potential for extended life without performance degradation, developers of GEO communication satellites will likely consider them for both reaction control and primary propulsion. This versatility will help broaden market access. A successful Phase II program will lead to direct sales or licensing of the thrusters and the associated catalyst technology.

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.)
Maneuvering/Stationkeeping/Attitude Control Devices

Form Generated on 03-04-14 13:38