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Evaluation of a Conceptual High Altitude Valveless Internal Combustion Engine…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2008 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Busek Co., Inc.
MA Natick, MA 01760-1023
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2008
Title: Evaluation of a Conceptual High Altitude Valveless Internal Combustion Engine Fueled by Green Monopropellant
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: W31P4Q-08-C-0051
Award Amount: $98,997.00


Busek Co. Inc. proposes to conduct critical studies and experiments to establish the feasibility of a novel High ALtitude Endurance aircraft (HALE) engine called MICE for Monopropellant Internal Combustion Engine. The reference fuel is the hydroxyammonium nitrate (HAN) based monopropellant AF-M315E developed by AFRL for small thrusters in space applications. The heat of combustion of AF-M315E is 4.52 megajoules/kg, or 2.76 times greater than the heat release of decomposed hydrazine used previously by NASA for the engine of its "Mini Sniffer" HALE. Thus, the MICE concept promises a reduction in specific fuel consumption from 4.7 lb/brake horsepower hour (bhph) to 1.7 lb/bhph, a decisive improvement. Unlike hydrazine, HAN is a green monopropellant thus simplifying handling. The basic MICE engine has no valves, no catalyst, no external combustion, and requires no air. Its performance improves with altitude. In Phase I, Busek will design and carry out critical Proof of Concept (POC) experiments to establish feasibility of the MICE concept, and, from the results, estimate performance and other critical factors for the MICE engine. Also, using Company resources, Busek will establish a team with an engine company to carry development of the MICE concept through and beyond Phase II.

Principal Investigator:

Thomas R. Brogan
Senior Scientist

Business Contact:

Judy Budny
Contracts Administrator
Small Business Information at Submission:

11 Tech Circle Natick, MA 01760

EIN/Tax ID: 042881247
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No