Hypergolic Ignition of Gelled Propellants

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911NF-07-C-0114
Agency Tracking Number: A064-001-0235
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: A06-T001
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive, Madison, WI, 53717
DUNS: 196894869
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Millicent Coil
 Senior Propulsion Engineer
 (608) 827-5000
 coilm@orbitec.com
Business Contact
 Eric Rice
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (608) 827-5000
Email: knaufs@orbitec.com
Research Institution
 JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV.
 Lester K Su
 Department of Mechanical Eng.
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD, 21218
 (410) 516-8637
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Hypergolic propellant gels offer improved safety and performance flexibility. However, their longer ignition delays endanger engine health and preclude widespread use. Understanding the physical and chemical paths to ignition can enable improving ignition and realizing favorable IM characteristics of gels. ORBITEC and JHU propose targeted laboratory and modeling experiments to elucidate phenomena fundamental to the ignition delay of hypergolic gelled propellants. Study of atomization, vaporization, mixing, and kinetics and the effects of the gel phase on these phenomena, will clarify the ignition of hypergolic propellant gels. Spray tests will explore the effects of gel elasticity, gel type, and injector geometry on atomization. Phase equilibrium modeling of propellant gels will predict the vapor pressure and determine if the gel phase slows evaporation. PLIF experiments and FLUENT modeling will assay the effects of gel viscoelastic properties on mixing. Kinetics calculations and sensitivity analysis will identify key reaction pathways to ignition. Engine tests will measure ignition delays for liquid and gelled propellants. Subsequent analysis will define timescales and dimensionless numbers for pre-ignition phenomena. The results of the Phase II project will be in-depth understanding of hypergolic ignition of propellant gels and the basis for a comprehensive predictive model and improved engine design.

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

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