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An Advanced Endothermic Fuel System for Thermal Management in Hypersonic Vehicles

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-21-P-1454
Agency Tracking Number: FX203-CSO1-0941
Amount: $749,996.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF203-CSO1
Solicitation Number: X20.3
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-08-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-11-09
Small Business Information
17301 W. Colfax Avenue #160
Golden, CO 80401-1111
United States
DUNS: 196231166
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 David Wickham
 (720) 352-7161
Business Contact
 Todd Leeson
Phone: (303) 881-7992
Research Institution

Air breathing hypersonic vehicles generate much greater heat loads than traditional aircraft and therefore the fuel must provide additional cooling from endothermic chemical reactions on top of that normally supplied from sensible heating.  Logistics fuels can provide only a small amount of chemical endotherm from thermal cracking reactions, and the process also produces coke which can block fuel flow.  Unfortunately, with the projected increases in Mach and temperature that are anticipated in future missions, logistics fuels will not be able to meet the cooling needs of the next generation of hypersonic vehicles.   In this project, Reaction Systems will show that an advanced endothermic fuel technology can provide the cooling capacity needed by evolving hypersonic vehicles.  The reaction that this fuel undergoes produces a much higher chemical endotherm at substantially lower temperatures compared to thermal cracking reactions, and perhaps most important it does not produce coke and therefore eliminates the potential to block the fuel flow.  In this project, Reaction Systems will design, fabricate, and test an endothermic fuel heat exchanger that simulates a full-scale system that uses an intercooling loop where one fluid is circulated through high heat flux areas to absorb heat and then it is directed through a heat exchanger where the endothermic reaction is used to cool the fluid.  The results will then be used to scale up the system to one that would simulate a full-scale vehicle.

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

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