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Design, Fabrication, and Testing of an Ascent Vehicle Reaction Control System

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC21C0421
Agency Tracking Number: 212920
Amount: $131,453.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: S4
Solicitation Number: SBIR_21_P1
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-05-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-11-19
Small Business Information
12173 Montague Street
Pacoima, CA 91331-2210
United States
DUNS: 052405867
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Arthur J. Fortini
 (818) 899-0236
 art.fortini@ultramet.com
Business Contact
 Craig N. Ward
Phone: (818) 899-0236
Email: craig.ward@ultramet.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract

Sample return missions generally have the largest velocity change (Delta;V) requirements for a mission to a given body, especially bodies with large gravity wells. For every gram of liftoff mass removed from the return vehicle, the incremental reduction in gross liftoff mass from Earth is several orders of magnitude greater. Consequently, any technology that can reduce the mass that must be lifted out of the target bodyrsquo;s gravity well will have a huge impact on the amount of mass that must be lifted off the Earthrsquo;s surface. For an ascent vehicle, regardless of whether a solid, liquid, or hybrid rocket is used, thrusters will be needed for the reaction control system. Studies have shown that above a certain threshold, monopropellant systems become more mass-efficient than cold gas systems. An in-house trade study has shown that for total impulses above 140 Nmiddot;s, a traditional hydrazine system has less mass than a cold-gas system. The same study also showed that if a foam-based ignition system is used with hydrazine instead of a granular catalyst and external heaters, the breakeven point drops to just 44 Nmiddot;s. Furthermore, as the total impulse requirement increases, the mass advantage of the foam-based hydrazine system increases significantly. In this project, Ultramet will design, fabricate, and hot-fire test a foam-based ignition system for hydrazine.

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

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