You are here

Statically Operated Ramjet


TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Space Platforms, Weapons


OBJECTIVE: There is no single propulsion cycle in existence that combines the high speed performance of a ramjet and low speed, or static performance of a solid rocket motor.  This topic seeks to develop unconventional technologies for such a revolutionary new type of high speed ram air propulsion system with both static and ram air capability.  This new technology must meet or exceed the current performance and operational envelope of existing, conventional, state of the art ram air and solid rocket propulsion technology, and must support both current and future weapons systems and space platforms.  This effort will require innovative research and advancements in combustion techniques, combustion modeling, materials, and combustion processes.  The contractor must analytically prove the effectiveness of the advanced combustion technology using new modeling and simulation techniques and subsequently deliver the analytical combustion models, codes, and simulations to the Army to support missile feasibility studies.

DESCRIPTION: The Army needs increased range and loiter time for certain munitions, such as the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) for the Program Executive Office, Missiles and Space Precision Fires Rockets and Missiles Systems Project Office. Conventional high speed ram air propulsion systems offer supersonic, long range and limited loiter capability but are typically limited to operation above Mach 2.5.  They do not produce thrust at static flight speeds.  Other propulsion cycles develop thrust at static or very low flight speeds, but do not have the required fuel efficiency of the high speed ram air propulsion technologies.  A single, revolutionary propulsion system that operates through a wide range of subsonic and supersonic velocities is needed.  Such a system does not presently exist and would be ideal to extend range or provide extended capability to long range, high speed munitions. This topic seeks to develop new propulsion technologies and simulations of a revolutionary propulsion system that will operate at zero flight speed, such as needed for launch, as well as at conventional ramjet equivalent flight speeds of at least Mach 2.5. For this topic, a new, novel propulsion technology must be conceived, mathematically modeled and delivered, and should address in detail the revolutionary engine concept  intended to maximize static and conventional high speed performance.

PHASE I: The contractor shall create a new, innovative technology and concept plan for a new type of high speed ram air propulsion technology that provides thrust at static operating condition, as well as flight speeds above Mach 2.5. The contractor shall develop a preliminary mathematical analysis plan of the statically operated ram air propulsion technology and describe the specific methods used to predict performance.  The contractor must begin to create and author new modeling codes to describe the revolutionary process. The contractor shall develop a baseline reference configuration of a statically operated but yet high speed capable ram air propulsion technology for use in their initial modeling and analysis.  Deliverables for Phase I will be the concept plan for a statically operated ram air propulsion technology, as well as the preliminary software, architecture, mathematical analysis and proof of the system.   The statically operated ram air propulsion technology should be capable of a minimum Specific Impulse of 250 seconds, both statically and at conventional flight speed of at least Mach 2.5, and a minimum thrust to weight ratio of no less than 4.

PHASE II: The contractor shall execute their plans developed in Phase I for modeling, simulating, analyzing, and predicting the performance of the statically operated, high speed ram air propulsion technology. The reference configuration developed in Phase I will be modeled and optimized into a final, high fidelity performance analysis by the contractor.  Deliverables of Phase II are a prototype concept design, performance prediction algorithms and mathematical analysis to confirm the modeling assumptions used in the analysis. The mathematical model of the revolutionary propulsion technology will be delivered including all software, reference data, example cases, source codes, compilation and make files, executable files, and a user’s guide.

PHASE III: The end state of the research may yield a next generation, high speed ram air propulsion technology for use in GMLRS or other similar system. The modeling and simulation codes developed under the SBIR, and used to describe the statically operated ram air propulsion technology will be viable commercial products for the contractor. The contractor may ultimately sell a full scale, high speed, statically operated ram air propulsion system in the role of a propulsion contractor or subcontractor.

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government