NASA SBIR 00-1 SOLICITATION

FORM 9B - PROJECT SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER 00-1 03.02-9425 (Chron: 000576 )
PROJECT TITLE
Gelled LH2/UFAL/LOX Propellant System



TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
ORBITEC proposes to use ultra-fine aluminum powder (UFAL) to develop a gelled LH2 fuel and LOX propellant system. This innovation will increase the performance and density of LH2/LOX and the combustion efficiency of LH2/Al/LOX for use in rockets and combined-cycle vehicles. Lighter, higher-performing vehicles will result. Project objectives include development of a subscale rocket engine with which to test LH2/UFAL/LOX over a range of operating conditions, analysis and correlation of experimental data, and preliminary design of larger rocket and ramjet engines for Phase II. In Phase I, a prototype rocket will be test fired. In Phase II, a larger rocket engine will be developed and tested and a prototype ramjet engine will be tested to validate the performance of LH2/UFAL with air for combined-cycle vehicles. It is anticipated that the test results will show high specific impulse, high combustion efficiency, and improved propellant density. NASA applications include planetary propulsion, sounding rockets, various types of launch vehicles, space engines for near-Earth and interplanetary missions, and combined-cycle vehicle engines.



POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The use of UFAL (ultra-fine aluminum powder) in gelled LH2 can have a significant impact on launch vehicle technology, orbit transfer vehicles, planetary missions, military interceptor applications, and combined-cycle engine performance. UFAL will increase both performance and propellant density, allow reductions in tank size, and construction of lighter, high-performance vehicles. The ultimate goal of this technology is aimed at single-stage-to-orbit vehicles and reusable launch vehicles that use combined-cycle propulsion. The LH2/UFAL/LOX propellant is ideally suited for this application due to its high energy density and high combustion efficiency. LH2/UFAL/LOX could potentially service a combined-cycle vehicle during all stages of flight. Other near-term uses include planetary propulsion, sounding rockets, and small, ramjet powered aerial vehicles, such as RPV's for observation and communication applications. Military applications include: high-speed and/or high-altitude target drones, cruise missile propulsion, interceptors, and forward observation craft propulsion. Industry, NASA, the DOD, DOE, and DOT, may all benefit from this innovation.



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