NASA SBIR 2019-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary


PROPOSAL NUMBER:
 19-1- Z9.01-3549
SUBTOPIC TITLE:
 Small Launch Vehicle Technologies and Demonstrations
PROPOSAL TITLE:
 Innovative Hydrogen Peroxide Turbopump Design for Affordable Small Launch Vehicles.
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Frontier Astronautics
609 Windmill Road
Chugwater, WY 82210- 0127
(307) 331-3043

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Name:
Timothy Bendel
E-mail:
Timothy.Bendel@FrontierAstronautics.com
Address:
609 Windmill Road Chugwater, WY 82210 - 0127
Phone:
(307) 331-3043

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Name:
Timothy Bendel
E-mail:
Timothy.Bendel@FrontierAstronautics.com
Address:
609 Windmill Road Chugwater, WY 82210 - 0127
Phone:
(307) 331-3043
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 4
End: 6
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

The concept proposed is that of an innovative turbopump using hydrogen peroxide to drive the turbine. The turbopump has a unique feature in that it has an integral electric generator used to generate electricity and power an external fuel pump.

By using hydrogen peroxide decomposed over a catalyst pack only one fluid can be used to drive the turbine. Typically, a turbopump combusts a fuel and an oxidizer  in a gas generator to generate the gases to drive the turbine. This requires two sets of feed lines (one for fuel and one for oxidizer) and careful mixture ration control so that the two combust at a ratio that does not yield such a high temperature that may destroy the turbine. If the mixture ratio is too close to the stoichiomentric ratio it will be hot enough to damage the turbine. If it is too far away from the stoiciometric ratio it may not generate the required gases to drive the turbine or even cease combustion (flame out). This problem does not exist with hydrogen peroxide as its maximum decomposition temperature is about half that of modern turbojet engines. Thus, no exotic materials need to be used for the turbine. 

The built in electric generator generates electricity to power an external fuel pump. This allows the fuel pump to be placed anywhere on the rocket engine that is desired and does not necessitate mounting it onto the turbopump itself. this greatly simplifies the plumbing of a rocket engine. It also allows the oxidizer and fuel pump to have different speeds so that the engine can change its mixture ratio in flight. 

This turbopump is designed to be used with a rocket engine burning hydrogen peroxide and kerosene as a fuel. This allows for a relatively simple yet fairly high performing rocket engine. The specific impulse and density are similar to the hydrazine/unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide propellants used by the Titan II, III and IV launch vehicles with great success.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

This turbopump could be used on rocket engines ideal for cost effective launch vehicles. Due to its use of non-toxic, non-cryogenic propellants it can stand by and be available to launch quickly.

Since the system would be cheaper to operate many missions that currently cannot be justified could be possible. For example, sending inspector spacecraft to look at damaged operating satellites is currently not justifiable since building an entirely new spacecraft is more cost effective.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

For commercial operators a launch vehicle using this technology would both reduce cost and increase reliability. Due to its simplicity it could reduce wait times.

This means that many commercial endeavors, like nano-sats and constellation maintenance, would become potentially profitable. Current launch systems are just too expensive to make these business models work.

 

Duration: 6

Form Generated on 06/16/2019 23:37:28