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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Compact, Lightweight, High Voltage Propellant Isolators, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Compact, Lightweight, High Voltage Propellant Isolators, Phase II
TA&T, Inc. proposes an enabling fabrication process for high voltage isolators required in high power solar electric and nuclear electric propulsion (SEP and NEP, respectively). Future high thrust, high specific impulse engines will have to support beam voltages up to 10kV to meet performance requirements. If existing isolator designs are simply scaled-up for higher voltages, then a significant mass penalty is incurred. The proposed fabrication approach, known as ceramic stereolithography (CSL), is an automated, layered manufacturing process that enables net shape, monolithic ceramics with complex geometry. The Phase I effort successfully demonstrated fabrication and high voltage testing of three prototype isolator designs that would be very difficult to fabricate using conventional ceramic processing. The Phase II objectives include refinement of the CSL process to the point where it is a reliable fabrication approach for high voltage isolators, development and demonstration of an isolator design with maximum voltage standoff in a minimum volume, assessment life-limiting issues and accelerated life testing. The Phase II project will result in a new fabrication tool for high voltage isolation and insulation components, and a new optimized isolator design suitable for HiPEP and NEXIS ion engines. More »

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.