Rocket Engines & Propulsion
We are committed to developing and implementing innovative and low-cost, in-space, upper stage and boost propulsion systems. We provide patented rocket propulsion technologies, state-of-the-art testing and analysis services, and decades of experience with in situ use of planetary resources for civil space, commercial space and military operations. Our propulsion team has designed, manufactured and tested multiple thrust chamber assemblies in the 1 lbf to 30,000 lbf thrust class range with a variety of propellant combinations such as LOX/kerosene, LOX/propane, LOX/Hydrogen, and N2O/propane.
Our patented VORTEX thrust chamber assembly confines propellant mixing and burning to the core region of a coaxial vortex flow field. This enables dramatic cost savings through robust design margins leading to extremely high durability, reliability and reusability in engines that are inexpensive to manufacture and maintain.
The coaxial vortex flow field is also applicable to hybrid rocket engine systems to produce fuel regression rates significantly higher than conventional hybrid configurations. This increase in fuel regression rate enables the use of a simple circular grain port and leads to significant gains in performance, reliability and durability of hybrid systems.
We provide economical testing services for rapid development of rocket engine components and systems. Our test facilities are designed to cost-effectively test liquid rocket engines, hybrid rocket engines and solid rocket motors at thrust levels from 50lbf up to 50,000lbf. In addition, testing can be conducted for cryogenic components and instrumentation.
Our test facilities are currently configured for:
Near-term upgrades will provide infrastructure for LH2 and LCH4 testing and increased thrust levels for all propellants.
Propellants & Combustion
Diverse activities in propellants and combustion include the synthesis of new, non-toxic propellants, the study of gelled propellant combustion and the development of new diagnostics for combustion and two-phase flows.
Synthesis work involves the development of safe, energetic hypergols, new oxidizers and energetic binders. Several non-toxic hypergols designed to replace MMH have been developed. Our work targets the atomization, vaporization, mixing and ignition of propellant gels. Diagnostic work includes spray analysis, phosphor thermometry and gamma densitometry measurements. Gamma is applied to measure void fraction in cryogenic and other two-phase flows relevant to many propulsion applications.
Associated Business Areas & Subsidiaries
|Business Area||Space Systems|