Alternative Hydrocarbon Propulsion for Nano / Micro Launch Vehicle
The technical innovation proposed here is the application of an alternative hydrocarbon fuel?densified propylene, in combination with liquid oxygen (LOX)?that has the potential to enhance the performance of a proposed Nano / Micro Launch Vehicle (NMLV) enough such that a simple two-stage, pressure-fed configuration will be sufficient for orbital missions. Besides eliminating the third stage, the absence of turbopumps reduces hardware costs, improves overall system reliability and simplifies engine start-up. This project addresses Section 1.2.5 of the Technology Area 1 Roadmap as it raises the TRL of both a non-toxic alternative hydrocarbon fuel (propylene) and also propellant densification (subcooling propylene) to increase vehicle mass fraction performance. Programmatic innovation makes it possible to bring this propulsion technology to a TRL of 6 by the end of Phase II in the form of a 5K lbf-LOX/propylene first stage engine. This will be accomplished by leveraging an ongoing NMLV development program that has already produced a flight-proven LOX/ethanol 4.5K lbf-thrust engine that features a long-duration silica-phenolic ablative chamber.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Garvey Spacecraft Corporation
389 Haines Avenue Long Beach, CA 90814-1841
Number of Employees: