NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: A6.01-8686 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013313 )
PROPOSAL TITLE:
Solid Hydrogen Particle Propulsion (SHPP)

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
ORBITEC proposes to develop a new class of fuels consisting of solid hydrogen particles in a liquid helium carrier fluid. These particles would be ideal carriers for various High-Energy Density Materials (HEDM?s), including high-energy metals or atomic free radicals. To demonstrate and test the new fuels, ORBITEC also proposes to develop a new bi-propellant engine. HEDM fuels using these metal and atomic hydrogen additives have theoretical specific impulse values that can significantly exceed those of conventional propellants. Development of clean burning, high Isp fuels will enable SSTO vehicles and advanced, low-cost launch vehicle systems in the 21st century. Phase I work will experimentally demonstrate the particle formation techniques, and produce LHe/H2 slurries. In addition, a preliminary design of a 20 lbf thrust bi-propellant engine for use with slurry fuels will be developed. Phase II work will continue this development, fabricating and firing a 20 lbf thrust LHe/SH2 slurry - GOX engine, as we evaluate techniques to add HEDM?s to the SH2/LHe slurry.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Development of particle hydrogen technology will play a vital role in the development of environmentally clean, high energy density propellants of the future. The particle hydrogen propellants proposed here provide an extremely effective vehicle for development of HEDMs. The application of this technology can significantly increase the payload to orbit capability of all launch systems, especially in SSTO applications. The proposed project could lead to revolutionary high-performance, low-cost, advanced cryogenic engines of various sizes that could significantly enhance a wide variety of military and civil space missions. These engines could be used for efficient orbit transfer, launch boost, intercept, etc. The storage aspects could lead to developments in on-orbit, Lunar, or Mars-based cryogenic fluid storage applications. Specifically, potential applications include: (1) high-performance rocket engine or propulsion systems, (2) on-orbit, high-performance, high-thrust interceptor, (3) advanced stages and engines that could be used for orbit transfer and launch vehicle boost, (4) extremely high-performing fuels for air-breathing engines, (5) use of solid cryogens for in-orbit, Lunar base and Mars mission cryogenic fluid storage applications, and space-based cryocoolers, and (6) Earth-based cryogenic storage systems - new gas shipping and handling approaches using the solid state could become very attractive in the future hydrogen economy.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Christopher St. Clair
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


Form Printed on 07-23-01 16:56