The proposed innovations are as follows:
1. Rotating detonation engine (RDE) injector using Masten’s patent-pending permeable additive manufacturing (PermiAM) method, which provides improved propellant distribution and cooling in the engine relative to traditional injector methods.
2. Liquid-liquid injector using liquid oxygen (LOX)/Methane.
3. The ability to manufacture single parts with varying material properties will enable cost savings in areas where, in the past, multiple components required manufacturing and assembly with a high touch time. Masten has demonstrated a cost reduction of 60% in past injector builds.
Success of this SBIR project will be indicated by the construction and testing of two PermiAM RDE injectors. The three phases of this project are: design, manufacture, and testing. This SBIR will provide valuable information for several existing questions relating to RDE research. How to design a flight like liquid/liquid detonation engine, and how to design an injector capable of handling the extreme temperature and pressure environments.
RDE’s have the inherent advantage of being theoretically more efficient than standard combustion engines. This is due to the detonation engine utilizing a Humphrey cycle over a Brayton cycle. A Humphrey cycle is a constant volume cycle, where a Brayton cycle is constant pressure.
In a perfect system and RDE has the potential to be about 15% more efficient than that of a constant pressure device. The ability to utilize this kind of increase would be invaluable in commercial application, where fuel consumption can be a major driver in cost.