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Advanced Hybrid Rocket Motor

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / 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: 2006
Title: Advanced Hybrid Rocket Motor
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: HQ0006-06-C-7455
Award Amount: $100,000.00


ORBITEC proposes to develop MAELSTROM, an advanced hybrid rocket motor, to meet the demands of highly flexible boost propulsion for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense applications. Key MAELSTROM features include: versatile energy management, high propulsive performance, inherent safety of a hybrid, non-toxic and insensitive propellants, and a long-term storable system. MAELSTROM combines four ORBITEC innovations: (1) an aluminized patented vortex-injected hybrid motor, (2) a dual-mode oxidizer injection system, (3) a patented MIRRAS surface regression sensor, and (4) an intelligent closed-loop oxidizer control system. The vortex injector generates a coaxial, bi-directional flow field that drives extremely high solid-fuel regression rates, allowing for short, compact fuel grain design. The high surface heat fluxes and serpentine flow path enables efficient combustion of high-energy metals. A second, conventional oxidizer injector located at the head-end of the grain provides both mixture ratio control and deep throttling capability. MIRRAS regression rate sensors provide feedback to the closed-loop oxidizer controller to achieve precise mission management. The proposed Phase I activities include modeling, design, a comprehensive hot fire test program, and detailed data reduction, with a focus on demonstrating a high-performance and versatile propulsion technology. Phase II will validate a full-scale prototype MAELSTROM motor for delivery to MDA.

Principal Investigator:

Dan Gramer
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Eric E. Rice
President & CEO
Small Business Information at Submission:

Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717

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