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Air-Turbo-Rocket Propulsion for Small Launch Vehicle Operations

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9300-06-M-3003
Agency Tracking Number: F061-192-4052
Amount: $99,915.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF06-192
Solicitation Number: 2006.1
Solicitation Year: 2006
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2006-04-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2007-04-17
Small Business Information
215 Wynn Dr., NW 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805
United States
DUNS: 185169620
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Thomas
 (256) 726-4800
Business Contact
 Ashok Singhal
Title: President
Phone: (256) 726-4800
Research Institution

As a result of its maximum air-breathing specific thrust and Isp, inherent fly-back capability and propellant commonality with upper stage boosters, the ATR is the optimal air breathing first stage booster to support minimized recurring launch costs. During Phase I CFDRC will examine the benefits of using two variations of the Air-Turbo-Rocket (ATR), a Solid Propellant Air-Turbo-Rocket (SPATR) and a Bi-propellant Air-Turbo-Rocket (BATR), as the first stage propulsion of multiple low cost and responsive small launch vehicles. Multiple bi-propellant combinations will be studied during Phase I including LOX/CH4, LOX/RP1, gelled MMH/IRFNA and others of interest to the Air Force. Prime contractors Lockheed Martin and Orbital Sciences have also expressed formal interest in the ATR for selected FALCON derivative concepts. CFDRC will conceptually integrate promising ATR configurations into ongoing CAV/SLV related development activities. During Phase II the first ever comprehensive demonstration of a BATR engine will be executed. Demonstration of an optimally configured BATR engine during a single SBIR effort is only achievable by leveraging our existing 6-inch SPATR demonstrator engine configuration currently under consideration in tactical missile applications. The proposed engine demonstration will verify the capability of a BATR to deliver over 200 lbf-s/lbm specific thrust with an Isp of 800-900 seconds throughout a first stage launch and powered fly-back operation. CFDRC will integrate this demonstration activity into innovative small launch vehicle concepts under consideration by FALCON contractors Lockheed Martin and Orbital Sciences.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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