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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Arc Suppression Coatings, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Arc Suppression Coatings, Phase I
In order to support systems such as the Momentum Exchange/Electrodynamic Reboost (MXER) Tether, NASA has identified the need for advanced electrodynamic-tether materials. A recently identified concern with present tether materials, particularly illustrated by the arcing after the tether break during the TSS-1R mission, is the need for arc suppression in the event that the insulation is breached by orbital debris and/or micrometeoroids. This concern applies to any high voltage application, including solar arrays, electric thruster components, and various scientific instruments. A significant hazard in and of itself to the tether application, the impact of the debris may release ionized and neutral particles which can instigate electrical arcing to the surrounding plasma, further weakening or severing the tether. The research program proposed here will identify, develop, and test advanced coatings for electrodynamic tethers that will suppress arc generation should the coating be breached. The proposed mechanism for suppressing the arc is including in the coating an encapsulated or entrapped electronegative gas that is released during the insulation breach and arcing event. More »

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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.