High Performance Nanolauncher

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

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

Research Institution

Pennsylvania State University
110 Technology Center Building
University Park, PA 16802
Institution POC


The proposed Low Cost Nanolauncher (LCN) is an upper stage using a new, inexpensive propulsion system. The Phase I program will combine several technologies with a simple design strategy to produce a flight-weight propulsion system that is easy to fabricate and operate. Self pressurizing propellants will minimize complexity of the propulsion system and vortex cold-wall technology will be used to simplify the combustion chamber. An inexpensive, light weight nozzle is being developed by Pennsylvania State University using carbon phenolics. Commercially available components will be use where possible to further minimize costs.The Phase I LNC will demonstrate these technologies through ground testing of a flight-like propulsion system. A small launch vehicle second stage will be designed based on the experimental performance characteristics. This work will form the basis for a family of vehicle stages from smaller upper stages to a main booster stage. The low cost technologies and design methods employed in the LNC will reduce the cost of launching nanosatellites into orbit.