Gaseous, Liquid, and Gelled Propellant Hypergolic Reaction Mechanisms

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911NF-06-C-0125
Agency Tracking Number: A064-001-0079
Amount: $99,992.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: A06-T001
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1814 19th Street, Golden, CO, 80401
DUNS: 196231166
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Brad Hitch
 (303) 216-2950
Business Contact
 Todd Leeson
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (303) 881-7992
Research Institution
 Meredith O'Connor
 Office of Sponsored Research
Stanford, CA, 94305
 (650) 723-5854
 Nonprofit college or university
Contemporary storable hypergolic bipropellants such as MMH and IRFNA are desirable for use in military rocket applications due to their high specific impulse, no separate ignition system, and to actively control engine thrust. There is also great interest in safer munitions using gelled and lower-toxicity propellants. Unfortunately, the computational tools needed to accurately predict performance with these propellants do not yet exist, costing a great deal of time and money in testing and redesigning under-performing hardware. A validated, modular, multi-phase, chemically reacting Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code capable of accurately simulating gelled propellant ignition and combustion could therefore substantially decrease the cost of developing new IM-compliant weapons systems. We propose to develop such a code employing new reaction chemistry mechanism reduction techniques, non-Newtonian gel atomization, and spray vaporization and solid-particle combustion sub-models incorporated into an existing multi-phase reacting flow CFD code. Success in this effort will allow us to characterize engine performance with gelled propellants and accurately predict ignition delays in engine hardware, decreasing the risk of energetic disassemblies during development. The understanding gained could also help design a relatively simple bench-scale test for gel propellants instead of using full-scale engine hardware, making the screening of lower-toxicity and alternative propellants much more efficient.

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

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