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High Performance Methane Thrust Chamber (HPMTC)

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / 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 -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: High Performance Methane Thrust Chamber (HPMTC)
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNJ06JD45C
Award Amount: $70,000.00


ORBITEC proposes to develop a High-Performance Methane Thrust Chamber (HPMRE) to meet the demands of advanced chemical propulsion systems for deep-space mission applications. The HPMTC utilizes a unique propellant injector to generate a coaxial vortex flow field in the combustion chamber. Propellant mixing and burning are confined to the core vortex, while the cool outer vortex provides convective cooling to counter the effects of thermal radiation. The HPMTC will utilize an optimized combustion chamber geometry and propellant injectors to maximize performance and minimize wall heating. Avoiding severe thermal cycling of the chamber will provide very long engine lifetime and allow for simple, lightweight chamber designs. The coaxial vortices also provide an extended flow path longer than the geometric length of the chamber. The enhanced shear mixing can produce high combustion efficiencies. Phase I tasks include propulsion system analysis, thrust chamber fabrication, hot-fire testing with methane using both GOX and LOX, data analysis, scaling effects analysis, and development of plans for Phase II activities.

Principal Investigator:

Martin J. Chiaverini
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Lori Koffarnus
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Orbital Technologies Corporation
1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717

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