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Water-Based Thrusters for Space Propulsion

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2002 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2002
Title: Water-Based Thrusters for Space Propulsion
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: DAAH0102CR159
Award Amount: $99,000.00


"ORBITEC proposes to develop a hydrogen/oxygen rocket engine capable of repeated, sustained operation at stoichiometric conditions. This severe operating point is made possible by utilizing ORBITEC's unique vortex combustion cold-wall (VCCW) technique,which shields the wall of the combustion chamber from the hot combustion gases with a barrier of cool, unreacted oxygen gas, thereby protecting the chamber wall from both high heat flux and the corrosive, oxidizing environment of stoichiometric combustion.The relatively benign environment provided by the VCCW greatly simplifies the design of the combustion chamber, reducing cost and complexity and increasing reliability. The portion of the engine chamber which requires cooling is reduced to the area aroundthe nozzle throat. The Phase I effort will involve (1) a full review of customer specifications for the engine, (2) the design and fabrication of a lab-scale test engine, (3) a program of hot firings to test and characterize the lab-scale engine, (4) theanalysis of the hot firing results, and (5) the development of a preliminary design for a flight-type Phase II engine. We anticipate that the Phase II effort will include the full design, fabrication, and testing of a flight-type engine with potential fordirect application. This technology could ultimately be a central component of a versatile in-space propulsion system using water as a base propellant and various means of electrical

Principal Investigator:

Christopher St. Clair
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Eric E. Rice
Small Business Information at Submission:

Orbital Technologies Corp.(Orbitec)
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Dri Madison, WI 53717

EIN/Tax ID: 391628664
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No