NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 X7.01-9692
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Chemical Propulsion Systems and Modeling
PROPOSAL TITLE:Nitrous Paraffin Hybrid

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 W. 8th Ave., Unit A
Lakewood ,CO 80215 - 5516
(303) 980 - 0890

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert   Zubrin
zubrin@aol.com
11111 W. 8th Ave., Unit A
Lakewood, CO  80215 -5516
(303) 980 - 0890

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The Nitrous Oxide Paraffin Hybrid engine (N2OP) is a proposed technology designed to provide small launch vehicles with high specific impulse, indefinitely storable propulsion. In the N2OP engine, the combination of liquid nitrous oxide on solid paraffin as a rocket propellant allows for the development of compact lightweight high performance stages using densely packed propellant tankage. This is because N2O/paraffin hybrids have a very high oxidizer/fuel mixture ratio and because paraffin has a much higher regression rate than typical hybrid hydrocarbon fuels. Propellant slumping can be prevented by molding the paraffin into a 3% by volume graphite sponge matrix. Currently, space launch missions require cryogenic or extremely toxic propellants which are limited in their storage times, reducing their capability for rapid response launch. The much more storable solid propellants have higher cost, and lower performance while still being a large explosive hazard. The N2OP propulsion system also is compatible with ocean temperatures, allowing launch by floating in water. The achievable Isp for this propellant combination using autogenous pressurization is about 235 seconds at sea level and over 310 s in vacuum, making its performance fully adequate to support operation of a safe, fully storable, highly-responsive multi-stage launch vehicle.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The N2OP is an extremely attractive technology for enabling fast response space launch missions, it would have many other applications as well. Commercial applications would include the delivery of small geostationary, medium, and low altitude satellites into orbit, apogee kick, and also for high efficiency re-assignment maneuvers and end of life superboosting for geostationary satellites. The N2OP engine could be used for onboard spacecraft propulsion or for dedicated upper and transfer stages. As an additional advantage, the same N2O that powers the N2OP can be used in N2O monopropellant thrusters for spacecraft RCS, thereby eliminating hydrazine and reducing costs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
A high specific impulse safe, nontoxic long term storable stage would find many customers among commercial, military, and scientific satellites, launch vehicles, or sounding rockets who would value it as a very cost-effective alternative to the current choices of low performance toxic hypergols, cryogenic LOX, or solid propulsion. Smaller N2OP propulsion systems could meet the needs of the amateur experimental rocketry market. The use of N2OP technology for military missile propulsion is also highly attractive, as such systems would be much safer than solids during manufacture, transport, and front line storage, and potentially be much cheaper as well.

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