AN INVESTIGATION OF MASS-PRODUCED EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE CONCEPTS

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$52,753.00
Award Year:
1988
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
8283
Agency Tracking Number:
8283
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
306 Northern Ave, Boston, MA, 02210
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
DR JEROME FANUCCI
(617) 426-4142
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
EVERY US LAUNCH SYSTEM DEVELOPED TO DATE HAS ASSUMED THE NEED FOR EXTREME RELIABILITY AND MAXIMUM OBTAINABLE PERFORMANCE IN THE PRIMARY COMPONENTS OF THE STRUCTURE AND PROPULSION SYSTEM. THIS APPROACH STRETCHES THE LIMITS OF AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY, AND HAS REPEATEDLY RESULTED IN LAUNCH SYSTEMS WHICH CAN NOT PUT MATERIAL INTO EARTH ORBIT AT AN ACCEPTABLE COST. THE SPACE SYSTEM DESIGN COMMUNITY HAS DEVOTED LITTLE OR NOT EFFORT TO THE INVESTIGATION OF FAIL-SAFE SYSTEMS. A FAIL-SAFE LAUNCH VEHICLE WOULD BE DESIGNED FROM THE OUTSET UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT SOME OF ITS VERY HIGHLY REDUNDANT, LOW-COST SYSTEMS WOULD FAIL DURING LAUNCH. SUCH A SYSTEM MIGHT, FOR EXAMPLE, USE TENS OF HUNDREDS OF SMALL, IDENTICAL ENGINES DESIGNED TO PASSIVELY FAIL IN THE PRESENCE OF OUT-OF-SPEC CONDITIONS IN A WAY THAT PRODUCES NO THREAT TO THE REMAINING VEHICLE SYSTEMS. SINCE AN ACTIVE SPACE PROGRAM WOULD EMPLOY MANY THOUSANDS OF THESE EXPENDABLE ENGINES EVERY YEAR, THE COST AND QUALITY BENEFITS OF LARGE SCALE AUTOMATED PRODUCTION COULD FINALLY MOVE THE SPACE INDUSTRY AWAY FROM THE SPECIAL-PURPOSE DESIGN AND SMALL PRODUCTION RUN ERA THAT HAS HINDERED THE WIDESPREAD USE OF SPACE. AMERICAN COMPOSITE TECHNOLOGY PROPOSES TO INVESTIGATE THE DESIGN OF SUCH A LAUNCH SYSTEM IN THE FOLLOWING PAGES.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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