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Air-Turbo-Rocket Propulsion for Small Launch Vehicle Operations

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9300-08-C-1006
Agency Tracking Number: F061-192-4052
Amount: $749,956.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF06-192
Solicitation Number: 2006.1
Solicitation Year: 2006
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2007-11-05
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2010-02-05
Small Business Information
215 Wynn Dr., 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805
United States
DUNS: 185169620
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Thomas
 Director, Propulsion and
 (256) 726-4800
Business Contact
 Deb Phipps
Title: Contract Specialist
Phone: (256) 726-4827
Research Institution

During Phase I CFDRC defined the performance and a roadmap for reduced operational costs of existing and new launch platforms using a Bi-propellant Air-Turbo-Rocket (BATR) as first stage propulsion. Specific applications include the Orbital Sciences Pegasus launch vehicle and an innovative Nano Satellite Launch Platform (NSLP). Phase I concluded that the BATR’s specific thrust (200 lbf-s/lbm) and specific impulse (700-900 seconds) from sea level, M= 0.5 through 120K, M=4.5 make it an enabling technology as the first stage booster for a NSLP. This level of specific thrust and Isp minimizes propellant consumption during critical vehicle high drag and gravity well trajectory regimes associated with an NSLP trajectory. As a result NSLP GLOW is reduced to the level that the identical carry vehicle system launch and recovery infrastructure under consideration for mobile ballistic missile target launch missions can be utilized for low cost NSLP launch operations. Furthermore, the BATR’s unique flexibility regarding multiple bi-propellant combinations allows this air-breathing 1st stage engine to match up with any possible 2nd stage liquid rocket engine. During Phase II the first ever static firing demonstration of a high performance BATR engine will be conducted. By scaling an existing 6-inch solid propellant ATR, a candidate for multiple tactical missile applications, this demonstration is achievable within the funding level of a single Phase II SBIR activity. The Phase II demonstration will verify BATR performance levels throughout all first stage boost and powered fly-back operations defined during Phase I system study. CFDRC will coordinate this demonstration activity with ongoing concept studies at Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital Sciences, Teledyne Solutions and others to enable a new small launch vehicle using the first stage ATR propulsion during Phase III.

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

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