MODULAR COMBUSTOR ALTITUDE-COMPENSATING (MCAC) LIQUID ROCKET ENGINES
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
A LOX/Hydrocarbon rocket engine using an array of self-sufficient independent propulsion units (IPU's) or modular combustors, clustered in an altitude-compensating nozzle offers a promising avenue for reliable low-cost access to space. Combustor redundancy provides high fault-tolerance, achieving robust mission assurance. Combustors include integral feed systems, and are capable of independent operation. Combustors can be shut down individually or in opposing pairs in case of an impending malfunction and the mission completed with the remaining units. Identical combustors maximize commonality and allow component development in small sizes. Development progress applies to all elements. Maintenance is simplified by changing out modules. Altitude-compensation permits modest chamber pressures with attendant service life benefits, without undue performance penalty. A phased program with clear milestones minimizes programmatic risk, while providing progress visibility. ORBITEC will lead the work as the propulsion system integrator, supported by WASK Engineering, and Concepts NREC for combustion devices and propellant feed system elements respectively. Subscale components, and the full-scale IPU combustion modules will be developed and tested at ORBITEC. The integrated propulsion system, nominally rated at 1M lb thrust, will be tested in a Government test stand. This effort will lead to a new family of reliable rocket propulsion for boosters and upper stages providing safe, low-cost space access.
Small Business Information at Submission:
ORBITAL TECHNOLOGIES CORP.(ORBITEC)
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717
Number of Employees: