Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

Manufacturing & Prototyping

Additive Manufactured Propulsion System (AMPS) for Small to Micro Cubical Satellites
A hybrid, single-part design was fabricated from a material that acts as both the structure and the fuel for the propulsion system.
CRP USA, Mooresville, North Carolina, and Experimental Propulsion Lab, Providence, Utah
The use of additive manufacturing technologies in aerospace applications has presented both opportunities and challenges. The ability to produce parts and components using additive manufacturing holds promise in both metals and plastics, whereas traditional subtractive manufacturing can be restrictive in design development and material selection. The Additive Manufactured Propulsion System Hybrid (AMPS-H) motor is the first known functional additive manufactured rocket motor system (see Figure 1). It was designed specifically for the small satellite market as a multi-start thruster that could deliver significant deltaV to a small cubesat spacecraft while maintaining a 10 cm3 form factor. First, the AMPS-H motor was designed with the combustion chamber located inside the oxidizer tank (see Figure 2). This is only possible if the motor is additively manufactured. Additive manufacturing allows for the internal cavities and channels to be produced inside the part, maintaining a single component, unlike traditional manufacturing processes that require the part to be produced in multiple sections and fused together. The objective was to eliminate as many components as possible and incorporate them into a single part. By utilizing additive manufacturing, a 3D CAD model is designed on the computer, then printed in 3D. The next step was to find a material that could meet the rigid mechanical properties required for space applications. A variety of additive technologies could produce the design, but the material properties available proved too weak and led to inconsistent density of the fused structure. A strong, highly functional alternative material called Windform XT 2.0 was chosen. Specifically designed for the additive manufacturing laser sintering technology, it exhibited high tensile strength and could be fully fused, creating a solid structure that could hold high pressure. The material was suited to design the oxidizer tank and combustion chamber as a single part for the AMPS-H motor. It also was used as the fuel core to the hybrid motor. Utilizing additive manufacturing technology, the material provided no leak paths due to joints or voids from casting in a fuel. The combustion chamber port geometry was built directly into the fuel,

Figure 1. The AMPS-H Motor is a fully functional additive manufactured rocket motor system.

Figure 2. An Internal Side View of AMPS. The motor was designed with the combustion chamber located inside the oxidizer tank; this is only possible if the motor is additively manufactured.

30

www.techbriefs.com

NASA Tech Briefs, August 2013

Intro

Cov

ToC

Manufacturing & Prototyping


and the design could be changed without tooling changes. The forward and aft combustion chambers were integrated as a single piece with the fuel grain. Internal oxidizer feed lines, igniter port, injector port, nozzle port, nozzle retaining ring groove, and pressure transducer ports all were incorporated and part of the single additive-manufactured part. The motor was hydro pressure tested to insure that a margin of safety >2.0 had been met. Next, the motor was integrated on a test stand for cold flow testing where the injector and the high-pressure oxidizer tank would undergo thermodynamic cycling and flow rate calibration. After test stand integration was complete, several safety measures were taken to make the test stand ready for live firing. The final part was tested at a peak thrust level of 6.2 lbf for a duration of 16 seconds. The AMPS system is currently being integrated into several concepts for integrated boosters in cube satellites. This article was contributed by CRP USA. For more information, visit http://info.hotims.com/45606-122.

Bismuth Passivation Technique for High-Resolution X-Ray Detectors


Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
Free Info at http://info.hotims.com/45606-746

The Athena-plus team requires X-ray sensors with energy resolution of better than one part in 3,000 at 6 keV X-rays. While bismuth is an excellent material for high X-ray stopping power and low heat capacity (for large signal when an X-ray is stopped by the absorber), oxidation of the bismuth surface can lead to electron traps and other effects that degrade the energy resolution. Bismuth oxide reduction and nitride passivation techniques analogous to those used in indium passivation are being applied in a new technique. The technique will enable improved energy resolution and resistance to aging in bismuth-absorber-coupled X-ray sensors. Elemental bismuth is lithographically integrated into X-ray detector circuits. It encounters several steps where the Bi oxidizes. The technology discussed here will remove oxide from the surface of the Bi and replace it with nitridized surface. Removal of the native oxide and passivating to prevent the growth of the oxide will improve detector performance and insulate the detector against future degradation from oxide growth. Placing the Bi coated sensor in a vacuum system, a reduction chemistry in a plasma (nitrogen/hydrogen (N2/H2) + argon) is used to remove the oxide and promote nitridization of the cleaned Bi surface. Once passivated, the Bi will perform as a better X-ray thermalizer since energy will not be trapped in the bismuth oxides on the surface. A simple additional step, which can be added at various stages of the current fabrication process, can then be applied to encapsulate the Bi film. After plasma passivation, the Bi can be capped with a non-diffusive layer of metal or dielectric. A non-superconducting layer is required such as tungsten or tungsten nitride (WNx). This work was done by James Chervenak and Larry Hess of Goddard Space Flight Center. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Manufacturing & Prototyping category. GSC-16383-1
NASA Tech Briefs, August 2013

32

Free Info at http://info.hotims.com/45606-747

Intro

Cov

ToC