NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S3.04-8897
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Propulsion Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Thermal-Catalytic Ignition Source for Ionic Liquid Monopropellants

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ultramet
12173 Montague Street
Pacoima, CA 91331 - 2210
(818) 899-0236

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Matthew J Wright
matt.wright@ultramet.com
Ultramet
Pacoima, CA 91331 - 2210
(818) 899-0236 Extension :124

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Ultramet recently demonstrated rapid, reliable, and repeated ignition of hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN)-hydroxyethylhydrazinium nitrate (HEHN) monopropellant mixtures. Before this milestone was achieved, the feasibility of using this advanced ionic liquid monopropellant was distant. In this project, Ultramet will build on that success and develop novel architectures and the related processing to render a thermal ignition source based on resistive heating of refractory monolithic open-cell foam. In Phase I, prototype igniters and an oxide-iridium/rhenium thruster appropriate for an attitude control system will be designed and fabricated. Engine testing with AF-315E and ammonium dinitramide (ADN) monopropellants will be performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at no cost to the project. In Phase II, longer hot-fire testing would be performed with both monopropellants at JPL and/or industry partners Aerojet, AMPAC-ISP, Northrop Grumman, or ATK, all of which have expressed interest in the technology. ADN and HAN/HEHN green monopropellants offer many improvements over hydrazine, including increased specific impulse and density specific impulse, as well as greater safety in terms of toxicity and insensitivity, which will significantly decrease overall propulsion volume, mass, and cost. Because the thermal bed is nondiscriminate to the propellant, additional propellants may be included in follow-on testing.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed ignition system can be used in attitude control and apogee engines on NASA spacecraft. Potential NASA applications for the foam igniter system include orbit transfer, maneuvering, station keeping, and attitude control for satellites. Any satellite employing hydrazine propulsion will benefit. Promising near-term applications are attitude control systems for planetary spacecraft. The thermal igniter can be used with any monopropellant including hydrazine, thereby removing concerns over catalyst life and inability for cold starts. The technology to be developed can be used in virtually any NASA flight mission because the igniters can be used with hydrazine or higher performance advanced monopropellants (e.g. ADN and AF-315E). Using AF-315E monopropellant can increase specific impulse relative to hydrazine and deliver higher performance, reduce cost, and increase flexibility beyond that of NTO/MMH.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed ignition system can be used in attitude control and apogee engines for commercial and government satellites and divert and attitude control system engines for kinetic kill vehicles. The use of toxic propellants such as hydrazine will be eliminated in gas generators on military aircraft and fuel pressurization systems for tactical missiles. Potential military space applications for the foam igniter system are orbit transfer, maneuvering, station keeping, and attitude control for satellites. Any agency with satellites employing hydrazine propulsion will benefit. Promising near-term defense applications are divert and attitude control systems for kinetic energy interceptors, gas generators for auxiliary power units and tank pressurization systems, and liquid gun propellant systems.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Ceramics
Composites
Exciters/Igniters
Fuels/Propellants
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Maneuvering/Stationkeeping/Attitude Control Devices
Metallics
Processing Methods
Spacecraft Main Engine


Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43