Monopropellant Hydrogen Plasma Ignition System for Hydrogen Rocket Engine

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 32427
Amount: $77,038.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1996
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Aero-plasma, Inc.
23974 Craftsman Rd., Calabasas, CA, 91302
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 William P. Peschel
 (818) 591-0278
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
An innovative Microwave-Powered Monopropellant Hydrogen Plasma Ignition System for hydrogen fueled rocket engines, which develops a plasma using only the hydrogen feed gas to the igniter, is proposed to replace current enhanced spark or torch igniters which require the use of a pre-mixed quantity of hydrogen and oxidizer. The ignition system employs air plasma generation technology developed for ignition and stabilization of aircraft gas turbine engines, which when focused specifically on generating hydrogen plasmas is a highly unique system for igniting hydrogen rocket engines without an oxidizer in the ignition system. A plasma generator, Proof-of-Concept ignition system was tested in the API laboratories then operated with an RL-10 hydrogen rocket engine on the E-6 Test Stand at P&W, W. Palm Beach, FL, successfully demonstrating Monopropellant Hydrogen Plasma ignition. The proposed effort is aimed at devising an optimized ignition system and characterizing its performance at fully representative pressures and temperatures, specifically identifying and eliminating any features contributing to intermittent performance. The resulting RL-10 integratable prototype system will be tested under a separate effort at the P&W test stand to verify its suitability for subsequent design and engine tests in a concurrently proposed Phase II effort that develops a pre-manufacturing prototype design.| Benefits: Principle immediate benefits will be the achievement of a viable test-demonstrated Monopropellant Hydrogen Plasma Ignition System, eliminating oxidizer involvement in the ignition system, in conjunction with separate test support from a likely Phase III participant, P&W. A fully integratable pre-fabrication prototype system suitable for RL-10 commercial application is projected to be the result of an anticipated Phase II effort having P&W participation.|

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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