NASA SBIR 00-1 SOLICITATION

FORM 9B - PROJECT SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER 00-1 03.01-9602 (Chron: 000399 )
PROJECT TITLE
Cool-Wall Vortex Combustion Chamber (CWVCC)



TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
ORBITEC proposes to develop an innovative, cool-wall rocket engine combustion chamber that confines propellant mixing and burning to the inner region of a coaxial vortex flow field. The outer region of the flow field prevents the hot combustion products from contacting the wall. Though the chamber walls are subject to radiant heat transfer, one of the propellants provides effective wall cooling to prevent thermal degradation of the chamber. The Cool-Wall Vortex Combustion Chamber (CWVCC) offers several advantages over conventional liquid rocket engine designs. Avoiding severe thermal cycling of the chamber will extend chamber lifetime and allow for simple, lightweight, low-cost chamber designs. The vortex acts as an effective flame holder and may prevent combustion instability. The spinning vortices also provide an extended flow path much longer than the geometric length of the chamber. The chamber length may thus be reduced for a
significant weight savings. The enhanced shear mixing should produce high combustion efficiencies. Engines featuring this technology should offer high reusability, high performance, long life, and low cost. Phase I will include numerical flow field analysis, lab-scale engine design, fabrication, parametric hot-fire testing using oxygen and hydrogen, data analysis, and large-scale preliminary engine designs for Phase II.



POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The ultimate goal of this technology is aimed at improving liquid rocket and RBCC engine heat transfer capability, lifetime, reusability, and thrust-to-weight ratio. Simplifying engine manufacture and lowering operational costs represent further benefits. Second and third generation launch vehicles will benefit from these improvements. The end product of the overall research and development program will have application to sounding rockets, single-stage-to-orbit vehicles, and other reusable and expendable launch vehicles and upper stages for Earth orbit and planetary ascent and descent applications. The advantages of the CWVCC may also make it an attractive technology for combined-cycle vehicles, hypersonic space planes, and airbreathing engines such as ramjets and rocket ejectors. Near-term military applications include: high-speed and/or high altitude target drones, cruise missile propulsion, interceptors, and forward observation craft propulsion. In addition to these applications, this new type of vortex combustion may have significant industrial benefits. For example, many classes of air-fired combustors can use the CWVCC technology for improved combustion efficiency, extended lifetime, and potentially reduced emissions.



NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Dr. Martin Chiaverini
Orbital Technologies Corporation
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison , WI 53717 - 1961



NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Orbital Technologies Corporation
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison , WI 53717 - 1961