ARCTIC addresses the needs in NASA's technology roadmap, specifically Technology Area 1.4.1, which calls for low-cost, high thrust-to-weight RCS thrusters that use non-toxic propellants. By eliminating cat beds, hypergols, and spark systems, ARCTIC will be developed into a safe, low-cost, long-life RCS thruster to support NASA's exploration activities. This versatile thruster can be used with a wide range of fluids, including indigenous spacecraft propellants and in situ space resources.
Beyond the needs of NASA, it is expected that ARCTIC-based propulsion systems could be developed for governmental customers such as the USAF's Reusable Booster System (RBS) program as well as commercial customers such as Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser program and Boeing's Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer demonstrator. The same acoustic resonance technology could be used in applications including rocket engine igniters, OMS & DAC thrusters, and pre-burners. AFRL is already incorporating ORBITEC's acoustic resonance igniter technology into the Hydrocarbon Boost program. Furthermore, ORBITEC has incorporating the acoustic resonance igniter into its propulsion systems and demonstrated the concept in a sounding rocket flight. Ground-based commercial applications for this technology may include industrial burners and large-scale, power-generating gas turbines.