MODULAR COMBUSTOR ALTITUDE-COMPENSATING (MCAC) LIQUID ROCKET ENGINES

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
FA9300-04-M-3012
Agency Tracking Number:
F041-199-2196
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
ORBITAL TECHNOLOGIES CORP.(ORBITEC)
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive, Madison, WI, 53717
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
196894869
Principal Investigator:
William Knuth
Chief Engineer
(608) 827-5000
knuthw@orbitec.com
Business Contact:
Eric Rice
Chief Executive Officer
(608) 827-5000
ricee@orbitec.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
A LOX/Hydrocarbon rocket engine using an array of self-sufficient independent propulsion units (IPU's) or modular combustors, clustered in an altitude-compensating nozzle offers a promising avenue for reliable low-cost access to space. Combustor redundancy provides high fault-tolerance, achieving robust mission assurance. Combustors include integral feed systems, and are capable of independent operation. Combustors can be shut down individually or in opposing pairs in case of an impending malfunction and the mission completed with the remaining units. Identical combustors maximize commonality and allow component development in small sizes. Development progress applies to all elements. Maintenance is simplified by changing out modules. Altitude-compensation permits modest chamber pressures with attendant service life benefits, without undue performance penalty. A phased program with clear milestones minimizes programmatic risk, while providing progress visibility. ORBITEC will lead the work as the propulsion system integrator, supported by WASK Engineering, and Concepts NREC for combustion devices and propellant feed system elements respectively. Subscale components, and the full-scale IPU combustion modules will be developed and tested at ORBITEC. The integrated propulsion system, nominally rated at 1M lb thrust, will be tested in a Government test stand. This effort will lead to a new family of reliable rocket propulsion for boosters and upper stages providing safe, low-cost space access.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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