Extremely High Suction Performance Inducers for Space Propulsion

Period of Performance: 01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011

$600K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Concepts NREC
217 Billings Farm Road Array
White River Junction, VT 05001
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Brigham Young University
A-285 ASB
Provo, UT 84602
Institution POC

Abstract

The proposed innovation provides a way to design low flow coefficient inducers that have higher cavitation breakdown margin, larger blade angles, thicker more structurally robust blades, and better off-design flow stability than the current state-of-the-art designs. The technology will increase the structural, stability, and suction margin of inducers designed in the currently acceptable flow coefficient range of about 0.06 to 0.1. In addition, it will allow for stable and structurally robust designs at much lower flow coefficients than previously thought possible (down to at least 0.02) for the capability to operate in near zero net positive suction pressure inlet environments. The innovation is based upon a synergistic coupling of Concepts NREC's patented cavitation control device with a new blade design approach that takes full advantage of the CCD's characteristics for optimal suction performance. The technology significantly enhances the capability of rocket engine systems through increased thrust-to-weight, specific impulse, simplicity, operational safety, and turbopump life. It will also reduce turbopump and propellant tank weight and system costs by eliminating boost pump systems and allowing for lighter lower pressure tanks.