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Alternative Hydrocarbon Propulsion for Nano / Micro Launch Vehicle

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX12CE98P
Agency Tracking Number: 115655
Amount: $124,647.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: O2.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2011
Award Year: 2012
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2012-02-13
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2012-08-13
Small Business Information
Long Beach, CA 90814-1841
United States
DUNS: 004957598
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Christopher Bostwick
 Principal Investigator
 (661) 547-9779
Business Contact
 John Garvey
Title: Business Official
Phone: (562) 498-2984
Research Institution

The technical innovation proposed here is the application of an alternative hydrocarbon fuel?densified propylene, in combination with liquid oxygen (LOX)?that has the potential to enhance the performance of a proposed Nano / Micro Launch Vehicle (NMLV) enough such that a simple two-stage, pressure-fed configuration will be sufficient for orbital missions. Besides eliminating the third stage, the absence of turbopumps reduces hardware costs, improves overall system reliability and simplifies engine start-up. This project addresses Section 1.2.5 of the Technology Area 1 Roadmap as it raises the TRL of both a non-toxic alternative hydrocarbon fuel (propylene) and also propellant densification (subcooling propylene) to increase vehicle mass fraction performance. Programmatic innovation makes it possible to bring this propulsion technology to a TRL of 6 by the end of Phase II in the form of a 5K lbf-LOX/propylene first stage engine. This will be accomplished by leveraging an ongoing NMLV development program that has already produced a flight-proven LOX/ethanol 4.5K lbf-thrust engine that features a long-duration silica-phenolic ablative chamber.

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

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