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SBIR/STTR

Green Monopropellant Secondary Payload Propulsion System, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

In recent work for the Air Force, Ultramet demonstrated nearly one thousand restarts with repeatable pulse performance and steady-state burn characteristics using AF-M315E monopropellant and a novel ignition system. Based on the results of that project, Ultramet received a Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) award from the Air Force to further develop the technology into a flightweight system, including qualification testing of a 22-N AF-M315E thruster by Moog-ISP to bring the technology to TRL 8. Leveraging the previous and ongoing Air Force work, the proposed NASA project will scale the igniter and thruster technology to enable sizing of propulsive capability to a level appropriate for secondary payload satellites, i.e., 1-N and 5-N green monopropellant engines. In Phase I, Ultramet will design and fabricate a 5-N AF-M315E thruster and igniter and hot-fire test it at Pennsylvania State University. Phase II will further miniaturize the thruster and igniter to the 1-N level and bring the technology to TRL 8. Potential Phase II teaming partners include propulsion system integrator Moog-ISP, satellite integrator Ball Aerospace, and Aerospace Corporation for technical oversight. More »

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