High Power Hall Thruster Technology Development

Period of Performance: 06/06/2003 - 02/06/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

MicroCoating Technologies (formerly CCVD)
5315 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30341
Principal Investigator


MicroCoating Technologies, Inc. (MCT), with Aerojet, proposes to develop high field strength dielectric thin films for high power Hall thrusters that will directly and significantly enhance the thrust-to-thruster mass to power ratios. By utilizing its proprietary Combustion Chemical Vapor Deposition (CCVD) process, unique flexibility will be achieved in economically depositing on large areas of rolled metals and irregularly shaped surface cores. In the Phase I, MCT will demonstrate this capability by depositing materials such as alumina, boron nitride, aluminum nitride, silicon nitride as dense thin films on metal foil substrates with excellent thickness uniformity (and pinhole free), high adhesion, dielectric properties, planarity and superior thermal shock capability. The Phase II development will end with the delivery to the Air Force of an economic Hall thruster operating at 20kW with a 50% mass reduction compared to current methods of manufacturing, which will enable significant application in space. This deposition technology will allow innovation in the development of revolutionary Hall thrusters that will be the desired positioning system then for most DOD and commercial space applications. In addition to military space applications, the product has direct application in the microelectronics and the power electronics industry, which desires high field strength insulators with reasonable thermal conductivity. The worldwide market for the power electronics industry is estimated at over $2 billion for the current year and growing due to the drive for higher efficiencies.