Properties Investigation of High-MON Oxidizers and MMH Blends for Use in Deep Space Exploration

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC20C0039
Agency Tracking Number: 185313
Amount: $749,675.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T9
Solicitation Number: STTR_18_P2
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-02-04
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-02-03
Small Business Information
4109A Guardian Street, Simi Valley, CA, 93063-3382
DUNS: 079562098
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James McKinnon
 (805) 577-8771
 jim@frontier.us
Business Contact
 Kevin Schoonover
Phone: (805) 577-8771
Email: kevin@frontier.us
Research Institution
 Purdue University-Main Campus
 155 South Grant Street
West Lafayette, IN, 47907-2114
 Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)
Abstract
The REFPROP program developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a widely-used database for industrial fluid properties, including propellants used for chemical rocket propulsion.nbsp; For deep space applications, low-temperature propellants are of particular interest but accurate fluid property data was scarce or unavailable to the industry.nbsp; Recently, NASA MSFC has funded several research programs (including this proposal#39;s phase I contract) to develop capabilities of handling and measuring the physical, thermodynamic, and system properties of Modified Oxides of Nitrogen (MON), which is Nitrogen Tetraoxide (NTO) blended with various percentages of Nitrous Oxide.nbsp; High-MON blends (15-30% NO) have a significantly lower freezing point than neat NTO and promise to enable cold-propellant operation in hypergolic rocket engines when paired with Monomethyl Hydrazine (MMH). The fluid property data resulting from these studies would best serve the engineering community if made available in the REFPROP program from the NIST and this proposal seeks to author the collected data into a freely-availablenbsp;library under NIST direction.nbsp;Additionally, although the freezing point of MMH approaches -60deg;C and it should be usable with MON down to -40deg;C, the viscosity of MMH increase rapidly below 0deg;C.nbsp;This may causenbsp;flow and mixing problems that can inhibit ignition and steady operation.nbsp; In a previous Department of Defense program, it was demonstrated that adding a compound to a similar fuel resulted innbsp;lower viscosity without negatively impacting combustion efficiency.nbsp; To characterize the results of blending MMH similarly, this proposal also seeks to investigatenbsp;key physical properties of MMH-blends at cold temperatures andnbsp;perform hypergolic ignition and hypergolic performance testing with MON-25.nbsp; Like the MON data, the results of these studies will be authored into the REFPROP libraries for general distribution.

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

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