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Center Innovation Fund: SSC CIF

Novel plume deflection concept testing

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Electrically Charged Particles onto the Hot Plume

The Electrically Excited Thermal Insulation (EETI) through Thermal Energy Redirection test article is an entirely new technology for which electrically driven thermal shielding apparatus is applied within rocket plume deflectors. The novel concept has exhibited the potential to minimize the copious amounts of coolant and the associated plumbing, nozzles and drains required to test rocket engine systems. It could also reduce the amount of ablative materials used to coat launch structures thus possibly decreasing vehicle impacts from ablative materials. This effort has embarked on a futuristic endeavor with the potential to reduce cost and risk associated with rocket propulsion utilization. The achievements to date have begun laying the foundation for validating the EETI proof-of-concept. A small scale prototype EETI deflector cover was designed based on fundamental principles that will allow a light weight system to be economically scaled up for deployment within full-size rocket propulsion systems. The prototype development has led to a tileable honeycomb arrangement were each honeycomb cell provides a small area of protection. Each individual cell interlaces with the adjacent cells' electric fields generating a cascaded blanket of thermal protection (see illustration 1). The electrical field generating cover can be directly applied to the surface of a thrust deflector or other components that may experience thermal heating associated with the plume.

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