New Methods of Fabricating Advanced Thrust Chambers for Space Propulsion

Period of Performance: 01/01/2001 - 12/31/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Triton Systems, Inc.
200 Turnpike Road Array
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Triton and our industrial team member will design, develop, fabricate, and test traditional and micro-thrust chambers capable of withstanding extremely high use temperatures, 4500o-6000oF, and corrosive environments. Triton will utilize our unique fabrication technologies to develop thruster materials and micro-thruster fabrication methods that significantly improve upon those currently under development. Current state of the art Re-Ir chambers do not meet the requirements of newly developed liquid propellants and the micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMs) technologies have solely been developed for silicon, which, with an operating temperature below 1000oC, severely limits the micro-thruster performance. Triton will utilize our newly developed fabrication technology in order to develop thrust chambers from more promising thruster materials, e.g. refractory metals, borides, and carbides. In Phase I, Triton will demonstrate the feasibility of using these technologies for a variety of thruster applications, and will fabricate simple thrust chamber elements. Subsequently, we will work with NASA and our industrial partner to define specific thruster design requirements. In Phase II both sub-elements and thrust chambers will be fabricated and tested in their facilities. By the end of the Phase II program, we will have demonstrated the applicability of the Triton technology for specific thruster and micro-thruster designs.