Methane Arcjet Sooting Evaluation and Control

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 20042
Amount: $75,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1993
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Electric Propulsion
1040 Synthes Avenue, Monument, CO, 80132
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Graeme Aston
 (719) 481-4411
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
Methane propellant has the potential for achieving arcjet performance levels close to that of pure hydrogen. However, methane has a cryogenic storage density six times that of hydrogen, and a 100 C higher minimum storage temperature requirement. A Phase I program to determine the extent of the sooting problem in arcjets operating with mehtane propellant is described. Three approaches to minimizing sooting are presented, and specific experiments to validate these approaches are described for performance in Phase I. These experiments utilize proprietary EPL arcjet hardware and extensive supporting test facilities, rather than an electrode simulation which might result in ambiguous phenomena. The success of this proposed Phase I program would enable development in Phase II of a methane arcjet with superior performance to existing space storable arcjet propellants.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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