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Ionic Liquid Propellants

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / STTR
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: 2009
Title: Ionic Liquid Propellants
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: HQ0147-09-C-7060
Award Amount: $100,000.00


Future BMDS interceptor systems require innovative propellants that provide significantly increased performance and, simultaneously, improved safety, insensitivity, and economy. ORBITEC and partner University of Wisconsin-Madison propose to develop a family of ionic liquid propellants to meet these needs. Ionic liquids are inherently non-volatile, stable, and dense, and have a large liquidus range; thus they are well-suited to be rocket propellants. A non-volatile yet highly energetic rocket propellant would not only improve insensitive munitions compliance but could also potentially enable shipboard use. The proposed Phase I program will include the design of the propellants, synthesis of small quantities, materials testing, and energy and performance calculations. The end result of the initial phase will be a set of the most promising samples for in-depth analysis in future work. Phase II work will synthesize larger quantities of the top formulations, conduct more extensive materials testing, and progress to combustion tests. This research program will produce a set of new liquid ionic rocket propellants for mono- and bi-propellant systems that will exceed the state of the art propellants in density specific impulse, insensitivity, and safety and will allow engineering of novel electrical ignition systems.

Principal Investigator:

Millicent Coil
Senior Propulsion Engineer

Business Contact:

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

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

EIN/Tax ID: 391628664
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1691
Contact: Juan J. DePablo
Contact Phone: (608) 262-7727
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university