You are here

Hybrid Propulsion Technology for Robotic Science Missions

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18C0131
Agency Tracking Number: 174835
Amount: $749,229.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S3
Solicitation Number: SBIR_17_P2
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-05-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-05-02
Small Business Information
3100 Fresh Way Southwest
Huntsville, AL 35805-6720
United States
DUNS: 124289294
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 William Chew
 (256) 713-1220
Business Contact
 Alton Reich
Phone: (256) 713-1220
Research Institution

C3 Propulsion's novel Hybrid Propulsion System (HPS) will be applied to a NASA-selected Robotic Science Mission. Phase I demonstrated the Proof-of-Principle and Phase II will design, fabricate, and demonstrate a flight-like propulsion system for that specific application. The HPS is non-toxic, stable, and has energy management (throttleable or pulse-width modulated) capabilities. In Phase I, C3 Propulsion demonstrated that its hybrid fuel formulations can withstand storage at -78ºC, with minimal effect on its physical or ballistic properties, and is expected to be able to operate in the cold temperature of Mars and outer planet moons. Its simple design decreases risk, reduces size, reduces mass, and increases reliability. It has high volume and density specific impulses and is expected to increase performance and lower costs.In Phase II, a specific robotic science mission will be identified to determine system issues, including thrust, total impulse, weight, and volume. The selected mission will affect the design and operation of the system and will lead to a notional HPS design.  A mini-thruster, Hybrid Screening Engine (HSE), will be designed, based on the notional system, to complete the development of a baseline fuel formulation.  This formulation will be thoroughly characterized for mechanical properties, including the thermal coefficient of expansion.  A full-scale heavyweight thruster will be designed and tested at the test stand of the Propulsion Research Center (University of Alabama in Huntsville), which is being upgraded by MDA.  A preliminary HPS will be designed to determine the volume, shape, and weight of the selected propulsion system for future programs.  A DoT Hazard Classification for the baseline fuel will be obtained, which is expected to be no more hazardous than 1.4C.

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

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government