NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Cryogenic and Non-Toxic Storable Propellant Space Engines
PROPOSAL TITLE:Innovative Swirl Injector for LOX and Hydrocarbon Propellants

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
IN Space, L.L.C.
1220 Potter Dr., Suite 100
West Lafayette, IN 47906-1334
(765) 775-2107

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
B.J.   Austin
1220 Potter Dr., Suite 100
West Lafayette, IN  47906-1334
(765) 775-2107

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Gases trapped in the propellant feed lines of space-based rocket engines due to cryogenic propellant boil-off or pressurant ingestion can result in poor combustion efficiencies, combustion instabilities, or long startup transients. To assist NASA in the use of the high performing liquid oxygen propellant combinations in space engines, IN Space proposes to investigate the feasibility of an innovative swirl injector design for liquid oxygen and hydrocarbon propellants to achieve high combustion efficiencies, stable operation, and short and smooth startup transients despite potential two-phase oxidizer flow. Additionally anticipated benefits of the injector include low inert mass and low manufacturing costs. IN Space plans to carry out the feasibility assessment of the injector design by conducting broad parametric test fire evaluations of a notional LOX/hydrocarbon workhorse thruster based on present NASA needs to assess the effects of several design considerations on the combustion efficiency, static combustion stability, and startup transient duration performance merits. A preliminary flightweight injector design will also be generated in order to compare the estimated injector mass with similar injector designs.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA space-based propulsion systems deriving the most benefit from the innovative swirl injector characteristics are LOX/hydrocarbon engines that may experience significant LOX boil-off due to long periods of inactivity or thermal soak-back. These engines include reaction/attitude control systems onboard crew vehicles or science probes and deceleration/orbital insertion engines on science probes. Other space engines benefiting from the high performance and stable operation injector features are satellite apogee boost/orbital transfer engines, earth departure stages for scientific payloads, and as the turbopump gas generator powering booster engines of the same propellants.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Additional applications of innovative swirl injector design-based thrusters include serving as the turbopump gas generator for U.S. Air Force and space tourism/low cost space access LOX/hydrocarbon booster engines currently of interest for several different payload types, apogee boost/orbital transfer engines on satellites, and reaction control systems onboard civilian suborbital vehicles using LOX/hydrocarbon propellants for the main engine.

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.


Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19