NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 E1.01-9072
SUBTOPIC TITLE: High Power Electric Propulsion Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Hall Effect Thruster for High Power Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration

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)
Vlad Hruby
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: 5
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
High Power Electric 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 a flight version of a high power Hall Effect thruster. While numerous high power Hall Effect thrusters have been demonstrated in the laboratory, no flight qualified options exist. The baseline thruster would be tentatively sized at the 15kW power level. Busek proposes to work with NASA to improve upon laboratory designs by incorporating both NASA and Busek unique HET product knowledge. Specific features to be implemented include the use of Hiperco magnetic alloy, improved magnet field distribution using magnetic shielding, high temperature magnet coils and an advanced propellant distribution methodology. Particular attention will be paid to thruster lifetime through a combination of magnetic modeling and erosion analysis using the JPL developed Hall-2DE code.
In Phase I, we will prepare a detailed engineering design of the baseline thruster Using internal funds and therefore at no cost to the Phase I effort, Busek will procure the Hiperco raw material for the thruster, have it forged to rough dimensions, heat treated and samples sent to an outside laboratory for magnetic property characterization. This material will be held in inventory to support the thruster build in Phase II. ULA will provide at no cost to NASA engineering support by performing a top level assessment and preliminary system engineering for incorporating a 30kW propulsion module (with two15kW thrusters) with the MegaFleX and RollOut solar array onto the ESPA. In Phase II we will build and conduct performance and environmental testing of the thruster to raise the maturity level to TRL 6 at the end of the Phase II program.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA has identified 30kW-class SEP systems as a high-value intermediate step towards higher power systems due to broad cross-cutting capability. Current NASA investments include advanced next-generation solar arrays and higher power electric propulsion technologies to enable 30kW-class SEP. The ESPA ring is one approach being considered for partner-based mission concepts and those capable of being launched as secondary payloads. In addition NASA is investing in EP development of 15kW class HET system using either direct-drive and/or high voltage power processing unit.
The possibility for using Hall thrusters for lunar and Mars missions has also been well investigated. Hall thrusters have been found to be a good choice for Mars cargo missions and other studies have found Hall thrusters to be viable options for supporting lunar and Mars exploration. Another NASA study indicates that a cluster of eight 100 kW Hall thrusters would be well sized for manned Mars missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A nominal 15kW thruster with the capability to throttle down to 5kW should find broad applications on DoD and commercial ComSats. Hall thrusters could enhance many high power DoD and commercial missions such as satellite servicing, orbit maintenance, orbit raising and lowering, inclination changes, and repositioning. The system could also find near term application on an all-electric upper stage derived from Busek's ESPA orbit maneuvering system (OMS), a free flying S/C based on the ESPA ring that is being developed in cooperation with United Launch Alliance (ULA). The low power system ESPA-OMS utilizes four BHT-1500 xenon Hall effect thrusters and is capable of delivering up to five ESPA secondary payloads to various earth orbits. The high power (30kW) version would be used for transportation of propellant to a LaGrange positioned fuel depot.

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.)
Attitude Determination & Control
Coatings/Surface Treatments
Joining (Adhesion, Welding)
Lifetime Testing
Maneuvering/Stationkeeping/Attitude Control Devices
Materials & Structures (including Optoelectronics)
Processing Methods
Simulation & Modeling
Space Transportation & Safety
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 03-28-13 15:21