High Performance Bipropellant Space Engines

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNJ07JB06C
Agency Tracking Number: 066580
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: S7.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
4914 Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL, 35811-1558
DUNS: 79911
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John O'Dell
 Principal Investigator
 (256) 851-7653
Business Contact
 Timothy McKechnie
Title: President
Phone: (256) 851-7653
Email: timmck@plasmapros.com
Research Institution
Advanced bipropellant engines are needed for ARES/ORION vehicle maneuvering and future deep space science missions. Currently, an iridium-lined rhenium combustion chamber is the state-of-the-art for in-space propulsion applications. An example of an in-space engine that incorporates an iridium-lined rhenium thruster is Aerojet's HiPAT apogee engine. This engine uses monomethyl-hydrazine (MMH, CH3N2H3) as fuel and nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4, specifically MON-3) as oxidizer. To increase performance of bipropellant engines, improved chamber materials are needed that will allow higher operating conditions (pressure and temperature) and better resistance to oxidation. Therefore, Plasma Processes, Inc. and its partner, Aerojet, propose to develop hafnium oxide-iridium lined rhenium combustion chambers that will simplify engine design and allow higher operating conditions. As a result, a lower cost, higher performance bipropellant space engine will be produced.

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

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