Washington Patent of the Month – June 2024

Eagle Harbor Technologies, Inc. (EHT), a developer of solid-state pulsed-power, has been granted a patent for their innovation in propulsion technology with its advanced thruster system, poised to revolutionize space exploration and satellite operations.

This thruster system represents a significant leap forward in efficiency and performance, designed to operate under extremely low pressures—less than 10 Torr—and with a pulse repetition frequency exceeding 10 kHz. Powered by a pulsing power supply featuring solid-state switches, including high-performance IGBTs and a transformer, this system generates plasma within the thruster by energizing gas introduced through a specialized gas inlet port.

The heart of this innovation lies in its ability to produce plasma with unparalleled precision and efficiency. The pulsing power supply delivers electrical potentials exceeding 5 kilovolts with pulse widths adjustable from 20 to 500 nanoseconds, and rise times under 100 nanoseconds. This precise control ensures optimal plasma production suitable for a variety of applications, from satellite propulsion to medical devices and aerodynamic actuators.

The thruster’s configuration includes a range of electrode options, such as ring electrodes and dielectric tubes, enhancing versatility across different operational scenarios. Its capability to handle input propellant flow rates up to 50,000 SCCM and produce currents up to 200 A underscores its robustness and scalability.

Beyond its technical prowess, EHT has demonstrated a commitment to advancing propulsion systems that are not only highly efficient but also adaptable to the evolving needs of space exploration and beyond. With potential applications spanning from precision satellite maneuvering to cutting-edge medical devices, this thruster system stands at the forefront of modern innovation, promising a future where space exploration and technological advancement converge seamlessly.

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