High Temperature Oxidation-Resistant Thruster Research
Final contractor rept.
AEROJET PROPULSION DIV SACRAMENTO CA
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A program was conducted for NASA-LeRC by Aerojet Propulsion Division to establish the technology base for a new class of long-life, high performance, radiation-cooled, bipropellant thrusters capable of operation at temperatures over 220 C 4000 F. The results of a systematic, multi-year program are described starting with the preliminary screening tests which lead to the final material selection. Life greater than 15 hours was demonstrated on a workhorse iridium-lined rhenium chamber at chamber temperatures between 2000 and 2300 C 3700 and 4200 F. The chamber was fabricated by the Chemical Vapor Deposition at Ultramet. The program culminated in the design, fabrication, and hot-fire test of a NTOMMH 22-N 5 pounds F class thruster containing a thin wall iridium-lined rhenium thrust chamber with a 1501 area ratio nozzle. A specific impulse of 310 seconds was measured and front-end thermal management was achieved for steady state and several pulsing duty cycles. The resulting design represents a 20 second specific impulse improvement over conventional designs in which the use of disilicide coated columbium chambers limit operation to 1300 C 2400 F.
- Rocket Engines