The proposed innovation has application in any pump fed rocket engine requiring throttle operation. Of particular interest would be the potential ability for variable speed inducer to eliminate the need for boost pumps on cryogenic rocket engines. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion applications, conventional upper stage liquid rocket engines, and liquid booster class engines could all benefit from this technology. Cryogenic fluid transfer pumps especially those envisioned for on-orbit propellant depots where propellants may be near saturation conditions could benefit greatly from this innovation by enabling improved pump efficiency.
Industrial applications for this innovation are wide ranging. The emerging energy market for liquid natural gas (LNG) stands to benefit from this technology. Specifically, the boost and transfer pumps required for LNG utilization in trains and other heavy equipment propulsion systems often require inducers to ensure that as much LNG can be extracted from mobile storage tanks as possible. This innovation can aid in reducing the amount of heel left in these storage tanks by decreasing the inducer NPSH required for safe operation and long life. The ability to transfer LNG efficiently is receiving increasing importance due to the significant operational cost advantages over traditional gasoline and diesel systems. Barber-Nichols Inc. currently does substantial business in the manufacture of cryogenic pumps for applied research, industrial gas products, and energy production. This innovation could be incorporated into any of these pumps to increase inducer performance, reliability and life.