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High Impulse Nanoparticulate-Based Gel Propellants

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2005 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Eltron Research & Development LLC
4600 Nautilus Ct., S. Boulder, CO 80301-3241
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2005
Title: High Impulse Nanoparticulate-Based Gel Propellants
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNG05CA49C
Award Amount: $70,000.00


This proposed Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I addresses the development of advanced gel propellants and determination of their suitability for selected applications. Currently, propellant gels consist of fuel (or oxidizer) combined with a polymeric gellant such as a cellulose derivative and suspended aluminum (or silica) particles. However, higher specific impulse and density specific impulse, more efficient (i.e., finer) spray formation, and reduced pumping requirements are desired so that formulations incorporating combustible particulate species (solid additive and particulate gellant, which, ideally would be the same) are sought. Phase I will consider a matrix of formulations drawn from various highly combustible solid nanoparticulate species and additives. Properties (density and Isp) of various formulations will be calculated. Formulations with the desired calculated Isp will be prepared and measurements of surface tension between various system components performed. Rheological properties of the resulting gels will be measured and the flow and spray characteristics of candidate formulations evaluated. Finally, initial testing of preferred gel systems arising from Phase I will be conducted. Phase II will consist of extensive testing of preferred propellant formulations and determination of their suitability for various applications.

Principal Investigator:

James H. White
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Eileen E. Sammells
Vice President Administration
Small Business Information at Submission:

Eltron Research, Inc.
4600 Nautilus Court South Boulder, CO 80301

EIN/Tax ID: 363186256
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No