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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Scandate Cathode for High Power Long Life Electric Propulsion

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Scandate Cathode for High Power Long Life Electric Propulsion
Scandate cathodes are proposed as a way to boost performance and life for electric space propulsion systems. This company has recently demonstrated breakthrough performance on these cathodes in other formats. We have demonstrated emission of 5 Amps/cm2 at 850 degrees CB, which is 200 degrees C below that of conventional cathodes. At this temperature they should live at least 100,000 hours. This makes scandate cathodes a candidate for use in deep space missions. In Phase I we propose construction and testing of several hollow scandate cathodes. We propose to do both vacuum and ion environment characterization on them. In Phase II we will begin active collaboration with NASA to test these cathodes in complete ion thrusters. More »

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