Evaluation of a Conceptual High Altitude Valveless Internal Combustion Engine Fueled by Green Monopropellant

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-08-C-0051
Agency Tracking Number: 07SB2-0647
Amount: $98,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: SB072-045
Solicitation Number: 2007.2
Small Business Information
11 Tech Circle, Natick, MA, 01760
DUNS: 184629491
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Thomas Brogan
 Senior Scientist
 (508) 655-5565
Business Contact
 Judy Budny
Title: Contracts Administrator
Phone: (508) 655-5565
Email: judy@busek.com
Research Institution
Busek Co. Inc. proposes to conduct critical studies and experiments to establish the feasibility of a novel High ALtitude Endurance aircraft (HALE) engine called MICE for Monopropellant Internal Combustion Engine. The reference fuel is the hydroxyammonium nitrate (HAN) based monopropellant AF-M315E developed by AFRL for small thrusters in space applications. The heat of combustion of AF-M315E is 4.52 megajoules/kg, or 2.76 times greater than the heat release of decomposed hydrazine used previously by NASA for the engine of its “Mini Sniffer” HALE. Thus, the MICE concept promises a reduction in specific fuel consumption from 4.7 lb/brake horsepower hour (bhph) to 1.7 lb/bhph, a decisive improvement. Unlike hydrazine, HAN is a green monopropellant thus simplifying handling. The basic MICE engine has no valves, no catalyst, no external combustion, and requires no air. Its performance improves with altitude. In Phase I, Busek will design and carry out critical Proof of Concept (POC) experiments to establish feasibility of the MICE concept, and, from the results, estimate performance and other critical factors for the MICE engine. Also, using Company resources, Busek will establish a team with an engine company to carry development of the MICE concept through and beyond Phase II.

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

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