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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Green Electric Monopropellant (GEM) Fueled Pulsed Plasma Thruster

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Green Electric Monopropellant (GEM) Fueled Pulsed Plasma Thruster, Phase I
Digital Solid State Propulsion is proposing the development of a new liquid Pulsed Plasma Thruster (PPT) using its revolutionary HAN-based Green Electric Monopropellant (GEM) to enable spacecraft missions whose fulfillment requires the high specific impulse of conventional Telfon-fueled PPTs, but would like the flexibility in mission design that liquid fueled systems allow. DSSP's GEM propellant is currently being developed as a chemical propellant whose density specific impulse is superior to any currently available monopropellant and is competitive with many state of the art bipropellants while remaining space-storable, has low toxicity and low sensitivity, and needs no bulky catalyst bed or long preheating to function. DSSP's solid propellant formulations have also demonstrated the ability to fire thrusters at up to 1,000 seconds of specific impulse when used as an electric propellant- the thrust versus specific impulse balance is determined by the amount and 'shape' of the electric power applied. DSSP intends to develop a PPT that can be commanded to fire at high specific impulse depending on mission requirements which is fed by plumbing and a fuel tank to enable more ambitious and more efficient missions for future satellites. More »

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