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SBIR/STTR

Torch-Augmented Spark Igniter for Nanosat Launch Vehicle LOX/Propylene Rocket Engine, Phase I

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Project Introduction

The technical innovation proposed here is the introduction of torch-augmented spark ignition for high performance liquid oxygen (LOX) / propylene rocket engines now in development for a future two-stage nanosat launch vehicle. Spark ignition is critical for reliably achieving multiple in-flight restarts of NLV upper stage engines. In addition, this new capability will generate immediate R&D benefits through the streamlining of ongoing LOX/propylene engine testing. By replacing pyrotechnic charges that are the current state-of-the-art method for LOX/propylene engine ignition, spark igniters eliminate the need to install fresh units after each test attempt (a manually intensive and tedious process). Additional operational benefits from eliminating a category of pyrotechnics and ordnance will accrue in logistics and safety. More »

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