Propellant Flow Actuated Piezoelectric Rocket Engine Igniter

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CD19P
Agency Tracking Number: 094866
Amount: $99,054.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: X10.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Innovative Engineering Solutions
26200 Adams Avenue, Murrieta, CA, 92562-7060
DUNS: 877211243
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mark Wollen
 Principal Investigator
 (619) 593-7750
 mwollen@iesnet.com
Business Contact
 David Kerner
Title: Business Official
Phone: (951) 304-7600
Email: dckerner@iesnet.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Spark ignition of a bi-propellant rocket engine is a classic, proven, and generally reliable process. However, timing can be critical, and the control logic, additional electronic components and wiring adds complexity, cost and weight. These factors can be especially undesirable for small attitude or reaction control engines. The proposed innovation uses a novel method to excite a piezo-ceramic crystal using the initiation of propellant flow to the engine. When the propellant valves are opened, the precise timing of the spark relative to propellant flow, as well as the flow start transient, are governed by the geometry of the device. Hence, precise, repeatable start conditions should be achieved with no additional control logic or complexity. Furthermore, the piezo-ceramic crystal is integral to (and embedded in) the igniter body, thereby completely eliminating external wiring and associated complexity. A bench-top demonstration of one manifestation of the device (incorporating only one very simple moving part) has already demonstrated basic feasibility. Other manifestations with no moving parts what-so-ever (at the macroscopic scale) may also be viable, and will be investigated. Phase 1 TLR advancement goal is from 3 to 5, with Phase 2 goal of 7.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government