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Center Innovation Fund: SSC CIF

Novel plume deflection concept testing

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Electrically Charged Particles onto the Hot Plume

The proposed effort will explore the feasibility and effectiveness of utilizing an electrically driven thermal shield for use as part of rocket plume deflectors. To accomplish this, a small scale prototype deflector cover will be designed and tested. The overall reduction in thermal conduction will then be observed using high speed thermal imagining. The goal is to achieve a ten percent reduction; however, any thermal reduction would be considered a valuable success. The fundamental principles from a small scale system could then be used to economically scaled up for deployment within full-size rocket propulsion system.

The novel plume deflection concept is an Electrically Driven Thermal Insulation(EETI) shielding apparatus applied within the plume deflector.  The intent of the technology is to minimize the large amounts of coolant and its associated plumbing, nozzles, and drains required to test rocket engines.  In addition, ablative materials used to protect launch structures could be reduced by using EETI, therefore decreasing vehicle impacts from ablative debris being eroded from the structure. 

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Anticipated Benefits

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