Gelled LH2/UFAL/LOX Propellant System

Period of Performance: 01/01/2002 - 12/31/2002


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Orbital Technologies Corp.(orbitec)
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


ORBITEC proposes to use ultra-fine aluminum powder (UFAL) to develop a gelled LH2 fuel and LOX propellant system. This innovation will increase the performance and density of LH2/LOX and the combustion efficiency of LH2/Al/LOX for use in rockets and combined-cycle vehicles. Lighter, higher-performing vehicles will result. Project objectives include development of a subscale rocket engine with which to test LH2/UFAL/LOX over a range of operating conditions, analysis and correlation of experimental data, and preliminary design of larger rocket and ramjet engines for Phase II. In Phase I, a prototype rocket will be test fired. In Phase II, a larger rocket engine will be developed and tested and a prototype ramjet engine will be tested to validate the performance of LH2/UFAL with air for combined-cycle vehicles. It is anticipated that the test results will show high specific impulse, high combustion efficiency, and improved propellant density. NASA applications include planetary propulsion, sounding rockets, various types of launch vehicles, space engines for near-Earth and interplanetary missions, and combined-cycle vehicle engines.