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Catalytic N2O Decomposition for Piloted Scramjet Ignition

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-09-M-2956
Agency Tracking Number: F083-121-1852
Amount: $99,941.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-121
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2009
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2009-03-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2009-12-20
Small Business Information
1814 19th Street
Golden, CO 80401
United States
DUNS: 196231166
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 David Wickham
 Senior Developer I
 (720) 352-7161
Business Contact
 Todd Leeson
Title: President
Phone: (303) 881-7992
Research Institution

Ignition, flameholding, and flame spreading is difficult to achieve in current hydrocarbon scramjet hypersonic missile designs.  This is particularly true at the end of the initial rocket boost phase when the hardware and fuel can still be very cold.  Reaction Systems proposes to develop a lightweight catalytic nitrous oxide ("laughing gas") ignition system to exothermically decompose N2O to a hot (>1400 C) 33% O2 stream to aid atomization, vaporization, and ignition of thermally stable hydrocarbons like JP-7. Preliminary calculations indicate that this hot O2 stream could easily possess a multi-megawatt effective thermal power in contrast to the multi-kilowatt levels associated with electrical plasma igniters. BENEFIT: The development of a highly active and thermally stable N2O decomposition catalyst could have applications in efficient and "green" satellite station-keeping and attitude control thrusters, and civilian and amateur hybrid rocketry.

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

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