Variable Thrust Liquid or Gel Propulsion for Mission Flexibility

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9300-08-M-3113
Agency Tracking Number: O081-PR1-1022
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD08-PR1
Solicitation Number: 2008.1
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
 William Knuth
 Chief Engineer
 (608) 229-2729
Business Contact
 Eric Rice
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (608) 229-2730
Research Institution
ORBITEC proposes to develop a family of liquid/gel propellant, variable thrust propulsion systems to provide increased mission flexibility to battle planners to enhance warfighting strategies and enemy engagement capabilities. Variable thrust capability with non-toxic, space-storable propellants is also paramount for in-space applications such as rendezvous and docking Effective variable thrust capability is ideally achieved without loss of propulsion performance so mission efficiency is retained, and without loss of mixture ratio so that a propellant residual is not a consequence of throttled operation. In the proposed ORBITEC approach, which builds upon their evolution of Vortex Combustion Cold Wall (VCCW) chambers, performance and mixture ratio are essentially retained over the throttle range. A goal of 10:1 throttle range appears feasible. ORBITEC proposes to include both liquid and gel propellants in their program, and to undertake the development of the complete propulsion system including propellant tankage and pressurization. The resulting system is a self-contained autonomous propulsion package that needs only thrust level commands from the missile guidance package to perform its operations. In Phase I, the system will be defined and the lead system sized and analyzed. Key elements of the system will be demonstrated in laboratory testing. The conceptual design for the system to be proposed for Phase II will be prepared. In Phase II, a breadboard system will be hot fired to demonstrate operation and throttle range.

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

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