Water-Based Thrusters for Space Propulsion
Small Business Information
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Dri, Madison, WI, 53717
Christopher St. Clair
Abstract"ORBITEC proposes to develop a hydrogen/oxygen rocket engine capable of repeated, sustained operation at stoichiometric conditions. This severe operating point is made possible by utilizing ORBITEC's unique vortex combustion cold-wall (VCCW) technique,which shields the wall of the combustion chamber from the hot combustion gases with a barrier of cool, unreacted oxygen gas, thereby protecting the chamber wall from both high heat flux and the corrosive, oxidizing environment of stoichiometric combustion.The relatively benign environment provided by the VCCW greatly simplifies the design of the combustion chamber, reducing cost and complexity and increasing reliability. The portion of the engine chamber which requires cooling is reduced to the area aroundthe nozzle throat. The Phase I effort will involve (1) a full review of customer specifications for the engine, (2) the design and fabrication of a lab-scale test engine, (3) a program of hot firings to test and characterize the lab-scale engine, (4) theanalysis of the hot firing results, and (5) the development of a preliminary design for a flight-type Phase II engine. We anticipate that the Phase II effort will include the full design, fabrication, and testing of a flight-type engine with potential fordirect application. This technology could ultimately be a central component of a versatile in-space propulsion system using water as a base propellant and various means of electrical
* information listed above is at the time of submission.