NASA STTR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 T8.01-9986
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Manufacturing Technologies for Human and Robotic Space Exploration
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low Erosion Ceramic Composite Liners for Improved Performance of Ablative Rocket Thrust Chambers

NAME: Hyper-Therm High-Temperature Composites NAME: California St University, Long Beach
STREET: 18411 Gothard Street, Units B&C STREET: 1250 Bellflower Blvd
CITY: Huntington Beach CITY: Long Beach
STATE/ZIP: CA  92648 - 1208 STATE/ZIP: CA  90840 - 0004
PHONE: (714) 375-4085 PHONE: (562) 985-5314

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert Shinavski
18411 Gothard Street, Units B & C
Huntington Beach, CA 92648 - 1208
(714) 375-4085

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6 to 7

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Advanced liquid rocket propulsion systems must achieve longer burn times without performance degradation to allow the lowest cost per kilogram access to space. Ablative thrust chambers have an extensive heritage and are the low cost approach to fabricating rocket thrust chambers. However, composite ablative chambers are heavy and suffer from erosion that typically limits performance of the engine in terms of burn time and efficiency/performance of the combustion. In the last decade, there has been significant interest in utilizing fiber-reinforced ceramic composites such as carbon fiber-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) composites. Such composites have demonstrated a low erosion rate in bi-propellant liquid rocket thrust chambers at temperatures approaching 4000F. However insertion of these materials have been limited by complexities associated with required system redesign to accommodate a radiatively-cooled chamber and unproven attachment methods. By incorporating a ceramic composite liner within an ablative thrust chamber in critical areas that are subjected to the highest temperatures, a low erosion, high performance chamber is obtained that eliminates costs and complexities that have limited the insertion of ceramic composite thrust chambers. The Phase II will build on the successful static hot fire test of such a thrust chamber that demonstrated minimal erosion to demonstrate weight savings and a reduction in film cooling with respect to a comparable ablative engine.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A number of launch systems under consideration for use by NASA can benefit from the improved performance of a low cost ablative thrust
chamber obtained by incorporating a CMC liner. Such applications include the Lunar Ascent Main Engine (AME) The improved performance of these chambers is most suited for upper stage propulsion chambers. Other applications of interest to NASA would include lowering the cost per kilogram launch costs for satellites and space exploration vehicles. Addtionally co-fabrication of a CMC and an ablative could have advantages for heat shield

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed liner concept can have broad implications across a range of DoD rocket propulsion systems that currently use ablative thrust chambers due to the combined improvement in performance and decreased weight of the thrust chamber. The concept can also be utilized in the near term as
an upgrade to existing ablative thrust chambers for an immediate performance benefit.

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 Generated on 02-10-09 12:09