Resonating Nitrous Oxide Thruster

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$69,984.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNJ06JD77C
Award Id:
77667
Agency Tracking Number:
053819
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
20145 Ashbrook Place, Ashburn, VA, 20147
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
605603984
Principal Investigator:
Joshua Elvander
Principal Investigator
(617) 451-8630
josh.elvander@aeroastro.com
Business Contact:
Kimberly Kohlhepp
Business Official
(617) 451-8630
kim@aeroastro.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
AeroAstro proposes decomposing nitrous oxide (N2O) as an alternative propellant to existing spacecraft propellants. Decomposing N2O can be used as either a high Isp, hot-gas monopropellant or as a low Isp, cold gas for ACS thrusters. AeroAstro further proposes to use an innovative technique to achieve N2O decomposition: gasdynamic resonance. Gasdynamic resonance will elevate the N2O to the activation temperatures required for exothermic decomposition, allowing monopropellant operation without the difficulties of a catalyst. One of the challenges of long-duration space exploration systems is finding a propellant for microspacecraft that is safe, reliable, robust, and performs better than current propulsion systems. N2O can replace both hot-gas propellants such as hydrazine and cold-gas ACS systems such as nitrogen or isobutane. N2O is non-toxic, has a low freezing point (-91oC), and stores as a liquid. N2O is also a byproduct of the catalysis of ammonia, a main effluent of waste-water recycling systems for long-duration manned space missions. The anticipated results of this effort are data demonstrating the operating parameters of resonating N2O, and a dual-mode thruster design capable of both hot-gas and cold-gas operation. Phase II activity will evolve the design of the dual-mode thruster and demonstrate operation over a range of conditions.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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