Low-Cost, High-Efficiency HAN/HEHN-Based Multi-Mode Propulsion System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9300-08-M-3016
Agency Tracking Number: F081-065-1414
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: AF081-065
Solicitation Number: 2008.1
Small Business Information
12173 Montague Street, Pacoima, CA, 91331
DUNS: 052405867
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Wright
 Research Engineer
 (818) 899-0236
Business Contact
 Craig Ward
Title: Engineering Administrative Manager
Phone: (818) 899-0236
Email: craig.ward@ultramet.com
Research Institution
Launch-on-demand satellites require both high thrust and high specific impulse (Isp). In this project, Ultramet will develop a multi-mode propulsion system that is capable of delivering an Isp of 291 seconds (density Isp of 453 s) in high-thrust mode using HAN/HEHN monopropellant. The propellant will be burned in Ultramet’s radiation-cooled oxide-iridium/rhenium (Ox-Ir/Re) combustion chambers capable of handling the ultrahigh temperature. In high-Isp mode, Busek radio frequency electrothermal thrusters will be employed after propellant decomposition in an American Pacific Corporation (AMPAC) gas generator with an Ultramet Ox-Ir/Re liner. Attitude control will be accomplished by directing generator gases to a small Busek thruster or by using small Ox-Ir/Re thrusters. Such a propulsion system will be able to accommodate many different types of orbital maneuvers, including Hohmann transfers, phase changes, and plane changes. Much of the required hardware has already been developed. Busek thrusters have been tested extensively, and Ultramet’s radiation-cooled combustion chambers have been hot-fired with O2/H2 and HAN/HEHN. The focus of the proposed project will be to further develop a HAN/HEHN catalyst and combine it into an integrated system with AMPAC’s gas generator and Ultramet’s Ox-Ir/Re combustion chamber under AMPAC’s current work.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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