A major objective of NASA's Science Mission Directorate is to use smaller, more affordable spacecraft. Another goal is multiple experiments on the same launch. This lowers cost and risk. The rapid deployment of small, low-cost remote sensing instruments is essential in meeting these objectives. It has an explicit mission to "reduce the risk, cost, size and development time of SMD observing instruments." This invention meets all those requirements and will find a ready market in NASA earth satellite missions.
CubeSats are the enabling technology for space research by universities. This device will provide them with remote sensing capability of clouds, the ioniasphere, other satellites, and earth features. The larger commercial application is its potential for communications. Not only klystrons but broadband TWTs can be fabricated at a fraction of the cost of standard TWTs using this construction technology. There is an important market between 100 and 1000 watts not adequately addressed at this time. These are powers too high for solid state to address efficiently. The power is too low for standard ceramic-metal tube construction to address efficiently, the dollars/watt ratio being too high. Glass electrostatically focused TWTs and klystrons with glass rod construction can be manufactured at one-fifth the cost of ceramic-metal tubes. There are 250,000 cell towers in the U.S. Frequency and power need to go up. This technology provides a way forward.