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Cool-Wall Vortex Combustion Chamber (CWVCC)

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2002 / 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: 2002
Title: Cool-Wall Vortex Combustion Chamber (CWVCC)
Agency: NASA
Contract: NAS8-02020
Award Amount: $599,999.00


ORBITEC proposes to develop an innovative, cool-wall rocket engine combustion chamber that confines propellant mixing and burning to the inner region of a coaxial vortex flow field. The outer region of the flow field prevents the hot combustion products from contacting the wall. Though the chamber walls are subject to radiant heat transfer, one of the propellants provides effective wall cooling to prevent thermal degradation of the chamber. The Cool-Wall Vortex Combustion Chamber (CWVCC) offers several advantages over conventional liquid rocket engine designs. Avoiding severe thermal cycling of the chamber will extend chamber lifetime and allow for simple, lightweight, low-cost chamber designs. The vortex acts as an effective flame holder and may prevent combustion instability. The spinning vortices also provide an extended flow path much longer than the geometric length of the chamber. The chamber length may thus be reduced for a significant weight savings. The enhanced shear mixing should produce high combustion efficiencies. Engines featuring this technology should offer high reusability, high performance, long life, and low cost. Phase I will include numerical flow field analysis, lab-scale engine design, fabrication, parametric hot-fire testing using oxygen and hydrogen, data analysis, and large-scale preliminary engine designs for Phase II.

Principal Investigator:

Mart Chiaverini
Project Manager

Business Contact:

Eric E. Rice
Small Business Information at Submission:

Orbital Technologies Corporation
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717

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