Highly Durable Catalysts for Ignition of Advanced Monopropellants

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX12CD86P
Agency Tracking Number: 114848
Amount: $124,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: S3.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
4600 Nautilus Ct., S., Boulder, CO, 80301-
DUNS: 029303690
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James White
 Principal Investigator
 (303) 530-0263
 eltron@eltronresearch.com
Business Contact
 James Beck
Title: Vice President - Administratio
Phone: (303) 530-0263
Email: sbeck@eltronresearch.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Monopropellants are readily ignited or decomposed over a bed of solid catalyst. A serious limitation of existing catalysts in the ignition of advanced monopropellants is limited thermal stability. The recent emphasis on improved performance of monopropellant technology (e.g., with AF M315E and LGP 1846), has led to the need for advanced materials possessing exceptional properties. Increased specific impulse monopropellants will require ignition catalysts possessing exceptional thermal stability and ruggedness: Existing alumina supported iridium catalysts do not possess these characteristics. This proposed SBIR Phase I will be addressed to the further development of thermally stable high temperature ignition catalysts, optimization of their mechanical strength and erosion resistance, and employment in small propulsion devices. Eltron previously identified a catalyst which displayed activity comparable to alumina supported iridium (Shell 405) but which tolerates temperatures in excess of at least 1900 degrees C, is markedly less dense, is precious metals-free, and is much less expensive. Phase II will optimize the catalyst, demonstrate activity and ruggedness with a number of monopropellant systems, scale up catalyst preparation, and conduct test firings with the catalyst system.

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

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