Methane Arcjet Sooting Evaluation and Control
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Methane propellant has the potential for achieving arcjet performance levels close to that of pure hydrogen. However, methane has a cryogenic storage density six times that of hydrogen, and a 100 C higher minimum storage temperature requirement. A Phase I program to determine the extent of the sooting problem in arcjets operating with mehtane propellant is described. Three approaches to minimizing sooting are presented, and specific experiments to validate these approaches are described for performance in Phase I. These experiments utilize proprietary EPL arcjet hardware and extensive supporting test facilities, rather than an electrode simulation which might result in ambiguous phenomena. The success of this proposed Phase I program would enable development in Phase II of a methane arcjet with superior performance to existing space storable arcjet propellants.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Dr. Graeme Aston
1040 Synthes Avenue Monument, CO 80132
Number of Employees: