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Powdered Propellant Rocket Motor


OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative method of delivering, injecting, and igniting a powdered solid propellant to a combustion chamber in a controlled manner under an accelerating reference frame or in microgravity. DESCRIPTION: Multiple concepts have been proposed to create a system that has the safety and storage capabilities of a solid rocket motor (SRM) system while having the thrust control and flexibility of a liquid system. Material handling of a fine powder from a storage tank to one of several combustion chambers under acceleration, rotation, and microgravity conditions is proposed as one method of combining the best of both types of motors. The Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) is a combination of multiple nozzles and valves to either deliver liquid fuel or hot gasses from a central SRM to provide thrust on the kill vehicle to maneuver in space. By powdering the SRM fuel, it may be possible to enable the SRM system to closely mirror the benefits of the liquid system. The system may use a compressed gas such as O2 or liquid to carry the fuel particles and aid in combustion or a mechanical system to force feed the particles into combustion chamber. The system must be extremely light weight and accurately control the rate at which the fuel is injected. A method of igniting the fuel particles once inside the combustion chamber for pulsed operation will also be required. PHASE I: During the Phase I contract, the proposer will conduct an initial design evaluation of their proposed system and perform any laboratory/breadboard experimentation or numerical modeling needed to verify the proposed method. The deliverable will be an initial design for a prototype system with accompanying theoretical/numerical performance estimates. PHASE II: If selected for a Phase II, the proposer will complete a detailed prototype design to government performance requirements. The prototype will then be fabricated and tested in a simulated environment to verify theoretical/design assumptions. The final deliverable will be a detailed performance analysis of the experiment and an initial design of an engineering development model of the resulting system. PHASE III: Phase III selections will have adequate support from a MDA contractor. The proposer shall continue testing and development with a MDA contractor to refine performance and reliability characteristics. COMMERCIALIZATION: Commercial Space Launch and Sattelite Control
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