MIT SPL Selected for NASA's 2018 Early Stage Innovation Program

November 8, 2018


As part of it's Stage Technology Research Grants Program, NASA will sponsor a new research project within the Space Propulsion Laboratory to develop numerical modeling capabilities for electrospray thrusters on small satellite platforms. The research program, nicknamed SOLVEiT (Simulating the Operational Local Volume of Electrospray ion Thrusters), aims to build key electrospray plume physics into widely-used plasma modeling tools. The resulting framework will be used to model plumes produced by electrospray arrays and capture interactions with the spacecraft itself in order to predict on-orbit performance. The project will span 3 years and is expected to produce new tools for small spacecraft electric propulsion modeling.