Alameda Applied Sciences has an opportunity (by working with Novawurks of Los Alamitos, CA) to secure flight heritage for its Metal Plasma Thruster (MPT-X). The MPT-X is an Electric Propulsion Thruster that delivers >4000 Ns of total impulse from a 1U package, with no moving parts, liquids or gases to be handled. The TRL-4 prototypes have been developed through several generations over two years. This SBIR affords an opportunity to integrate the MPT into Novawurks HISat platform and obtain flight heritage, to be followed by commercial sales to other satelliet builders and for NASA deep space missions.
NASA plans a new mission to study the insides of hurricanes (TROPICS) with a constellation of 12 CubeSats. The MPT is suited to this mission. The MPT is also suited to various other 6U CubeSat missions on the NASA calendar for deep space missions: Lunar IceCube, Lunar Flashlight, BioSentinel, NEA Scout, Mars InSight lander and INSPIRE.
We are in an era in LEO space where tasks that were once the province of huge 10-ton satellites are now in tiny satellites with a mass <100 kg. This paradigm shift from huge geosynchronous satellites, to tiny LEO satellites, enables us to generate a data set that is unprecedented in terms of coverage and cadence. The entire planet benefits from this growing revolution in LEO. Potential customers include Novawurks, Airbus, Blue Canyon Technologies, Hera Systems, Dauria Aerospace, and Planet.