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Continuous Detonation Rocket and Air Breathing Engines

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Systima Technologies, Inc.
1832 180th Street South East Bothell, WA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Continuous Detonation Rocket and Air Breathing Engines
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: W31P4Q-09-C-0280
Award Amount: $98,982.00


Proposal will develop and study feasibility of Continuous Detonation Rocket Engine (CDRE) systems for rocket and combined cycle engines. Systima Technologies, Inc., Geminus Technology Development, LLC and the University of Washington, Fluids and Propulsion Labs have detonation engine expertise and propose to develop a working CDRE computational model, design demonstration CDRE, and feasibility analysis of CDRE. This effort has full support of Pratt & Whitney's active continuous detonation experience. Detonation engines should exhibit higher levels of performance with more efficient thermodynamic properties over conventional constant-pressure combustion systems. Study of unsteady combustion systems is key to addressing continued interest in advanced engines such as Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC), Turbine Based Combined Cycle (TBCC) and Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO). This proposal is instrumental to advance this technology and assess potential advantages. Under similar conditions, detonation is more efficient combustion process over deflagration. This is evidenced by lower increases in entropy during detonation and its thermodynamic advantage. The challenge is applying detonation into propulsion. CDRE's advantages over conventional detonation engines are simplicity and performance. The Systima-Geminus-University of Washington-Pratt & Whitney team proposes computational modeling, feasibility analysis, and an experimentation in parallel to advance CDRE technology and evaluate its potential.

Principal Investigator:

Jerry Berg
Sr. Mechanical Engineer

Business Contact:

Tom Prenzlow
Small Business Information at Submission:

1832 180th St. SE Bothell, WA 98012

EIN/Tax ID: 270011081
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No