Evaluation of Rotating Detonation Rocket Engines for Booster or Upper Stage Launch Vehicles: The Next Step Towards Flight Development

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9300-18-P-1007
Agency Tracking Number: F181-030-0521
Amount: $148,142.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF181-030
Solicitation Number: 2018.1
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-09-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-09-28
Small Business Information
11810 Holmes Pt. Dr. NE, Kirkland, WA, 98034
DUNS: 089115922
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Richard Smith
 (425) 765-7828
Business Contact
 Richard Smith
Phone: (425) 765-7828
Email: rick@doylesmith.com
Research Institution
Having previously designed, built and successfully tested a Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine (RDRE), GHKN Engineering proposes to evaluate the feasibility of RDRE technology for boost or upper stage propulsion for launch of small satellites to LEO. RDREs represent an innovative new rocket technology that harnesses the potential of continuous detonation combustion in elegant, compact, annular designs. Constant volume (detonation) combustion offers potential efficiency advantages over the constant pressure combustion (deflagration) used in current liquid rocket engines.In addition to remarkable stability, RDREs offer other potential advantages such as much smaller, more flexible envelopes, fast response times, wide ranges of stable operation, and a wide range of candidate fuels and oxidizers. Scale up from laboratory designs to thrust levels suitable for boost or upper stage application must be done in stages. GHKN proposes the first of those stages for this project. GHKN has enlisted the collaboration of small launch provider Vector Launch to conduct a system analysis of a potential RDRE-based propulsion system for their target market, and to develop a specification for a next-size-up modular test thruster. The GHKN team will then develop a preliminary design for the larger modular test thruster, and design a preliminary test program.

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

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