NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 X7.01-9069
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Chemical Propulsion Systems and Modeling
PROPOSAL TITLE:Oxygen-Methane Thruster

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orion Propulsion, Inc.
105 A-4 Commerce Circle
Madison ,AL 35758 - 1863
(256) 461 - 8032

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tim   Pickens
tpickens@orionpropulsion.com
105 A-4 Commerce Circle
Madison, AL  35758 -1863
(256) 461 - 8032

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Orion Propulsion, Inc. proposes to develop an Oxygen and Methane RCS Thruster to advance the technology of alternate fuels. A successful Oxygen/CH4 RCS Thruster will also be new reaction control engine that integrates readily with integrates readily with primary propulsion by using the same propellants. Orion has a developed a preliminary design of an Oxygen / Methane (O/M) RCS Thruster, and our purpose is to contribute to NASA Space Exploration goals by increasing the technology readiness of oxygen/methane rocket systems. Orion has demonstrated the current development status of our thruster with some 40 firings at sea level. The objective of the Phase 1 R&D would be to improve credibility of its design by testing another prototype test article, which is equipped with a flight type nozzle and propellant valves. These tests would be performed in a environmental chamber at reduced pressure to simulate space vacuum conditions. Although, the O/M Thruster test article would be constructed of stainless steel, its interior would be coated with a refractory metal alloy. This treatment enables the test article to sustain higher temperatures and enables longer tests. The expected result of a Phase 2 effort would be a flight-ready prototype thruster for delivery to NASA.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The O/M RCS Thruster could be used in any NASA or Commercial Space launch vehicle or spacecraft that uses oxygen and methane for primary or maneuver propulsion. The simple configuration and conventional manufacturing techniques contribute to cost, weight, and risk reductions. NASA and commercial space operators could thereby benefit from these improvements. The O/M RCS Thruster will be particularly useful to space exploration such as mars where methane would be available via appropriate in-situ mining results.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Military and commercial space operations could also benefit by using oxygen / methane propulsion, thereby improving the benefits of higher production volumes for the thruster. The more application of common rocket engine systems by NASA, military, and commercial operators extend the mutual benefits to all of them.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Chemical


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12