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Premix Gas Injector and Thermally Choked Chamber

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1995 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITE
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1995
Title: Premix Gas Injector and Thermally Choked Chamber
Agency: NASA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $600,000.00


ORBITEC proposes to design and develop a small commercial thruster which combines innovative concepts to produce a scalable, high response, precisely controlled, low cost, highly reliable family of thrusters for altitude control, orbit change, and maneuvering applications in space. The key concepts involved are: premixing the propellants prior to injection, and a thermally choked chamber which allows using a chamberless throat and skirt for the combustion/expansion process. The problem areas on small thrusters are: (1) inefficient long-term storage of propellants which has led to common use of storable propellants in spite of their lower performance and the contamination produced by the exhaust plume; (2) chamber cooling because of the high surface to volume ratio of the chamber, which has resulted in resorting to very high rates of film cooling which reduces performance further and increases plume contamination; (3) difficulty with injection and mixing because of the small orifice sizes, and effects of the nearby wall, which has led to problems of chamber wall streaking and pitting, reduced performance and shortened chamber life; and (4) precision of start and stop thrust curves and precision of impulse for short pulses, which makes the controllability of space vehicles more complex, and is particularly severe when doking maneuvers are involved. The innovations proposed define a thruster which effectively resolves many of these problems in a single compact, low-cost assembly.

Principal Investigator:

Eric E. Rice

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Orbital Technologies Corp
402 Gammon Place, Suite 10 Madison, WI 53719

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No