Electrospray Propulsion Engineering Toolkit (ESPET)

Period of Performance: 04/27/2016 - 04/26/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Spectral Sciences, Inc.
4 Fourth Avenue Array
Burlington, MA 01803
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


To accelerate the development of scaled-up Electrospray Propulsion emitter array systems with practical thrust levels, Spectral Sciences, Inc. (SSI), in collaboration with Busek Co. Inc., and CFD Research Corporation, proposes the development of an Electrospray Propulsion Engineering Toolkit (ESPET). The innovation is a multi-scale engineering tool that extends experimental and detailed high-level physics characterization of microfluidic components to full-scale ESP microfluidic network performance. The innovation includes a central database of critical microfluidic properties. It is designed to allow ESP system engineers to efficiently narrow down the system component trade space and thereby substantially reduce the development time of advanced ESP systems. ESPET takes an engineering model approach that breaks the ESP system down into multiple microfluidic components or domains that can be described by analytical microfluidic solutions and specific parameters of the domain. Phase I was a successful proof of concept on the microfluidics of the Busek 100 micro class ESP system. In Phase II, full development of ESPET for arbitrary ESP designs will occur. The Phase II Work Plan includes construction of a microfluidics properties database, the development of the domain models and network solver, and the testing and validation against data produced by current ESP system developers.