NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Chemical and Propellantless Propulsion for Deep Space
PROPOSAL TITLE:High Performance Bipropellant Space Engines

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811-1558
(256) 851-7653

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John Scott O'Dell
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL  35811-1558
(256) 851-7653

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Advanced bipropellant engines are needed for ARES/ORION vehicle maneuvering and future deep space science missions. Currently, an iridium-lined rhenium combustion chamber is the state-of-the-art for in-space propulsion applications. An example of an in-space engine that incorporates an iridium-lined rhenium thruster is Aerojet's HiPAT apogee engine. This engine uses monomethyl-hydrazine (MMH, CH3N2H3) as fuel and nitrogen tetroxide (N2O4, specifically MON-3) as oxidizer. To increase performance of bipropellant engines, improved chamber materials are needed that will allow higher operating conditions (pressure and temperature) and better resistance to oxidation. Therefore, Plasma Processes, Inc. and its partner, Aerojet, propose to develop hafnium oxide-iridium lined rhenium combustion chambers that will simplify engine design and allow higher operating conditions. As a result, a lower cost, higher performance bipropellant space engine will be produced.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential in-space propulsion applications include, apogee insertion, attitude control, orbit maintenance, de-orbiting, repositioning of satellites/spacecraft, trajectory corrections for planetary spacecraft, reaction control systems, and planetary descent/ascent. The material developed will also serve as the foundation for applications for other high performance bipropellants such as LOX/methane and LOX/LH2, which are directly applicable to NASA's Constellation Programs. In addition, technology advancements in high temperature, oxidation resistant chamber materials and processes are relevant not only to bipropellant engines, but also to advanced monopropellant thrusters and other derivative applications. These monopropellants could include HAN-based and other non-toxic propellants.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Additional applications include, aerospace, defense, commercial propulsion and nuclear industries, high temperature furnaces, corrosion resistant containment cartridges, crucibles for glass/advanced ceramic processing, heat pipes, thermal protection systems, and joining of advanced ceramics to metals.

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.

Multifunctional/Smart Materials

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19