Reno, NV – May 5th, 2015 – Digital Solid State Propulsion Inc. (DSSP) has been selected for a new contract with NASA, its fifth with the national space agency and the only NASA Phase I awarded in the state of Nevada in 2015.
With the development of DSSP’s new liquid Pulsed Plasma Thruster (PPT), NASA will be able to fly more ambitious missions with better fuel efficiency and lower toxicity and sensitivity than current thrusters. Unlike conventional Teflon-fueled PPTs, DSSP’s thrusters use revolutionary HAN-based Green Electric Monopropellant, or GEM, which will be tested under subcontract at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. This combines the high specific impulse (or fuel efficiency) of conventional PPTs with the flexibility allowed by liquid fueled systems by connecting a liquid propellant-filled tank to the thruster via valve. This will be used for both small and large CubeSats, or satellites ranging from 3U to 12U in size.
Similar to DSSP’s other propellants, GEM is insensitive to heat and impact, making it safer than current propellants to ship and store in space. The main use for this high-tech system is to allow CubeSats to embark on low-cost, high-value planetary exploration, starting with the moon, both by NASA and private sources.
Digital Solid State Propulsion was founded in 2005 by CEO Dr. Wayne Sawka. Its initial focus on aerospace engineering has expanded into military simulation training, entertainment, and oil and gas applications. The company recently won “2015 Aerospace Company of the Year” at the annual NCET Technology Awards in Reno, NV. DSSP also won their first Phase II SBIR Contract with NASA in April 2015. For more information, visit their newly-renovated website at www.dsspropulsion.com.