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Additively Manufactured Monolithic Catalyst Bed for Green Propellants, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

This proposal aims to develop a low cost, high efficiency catalyst technology to address navigation and maneuver difficulties in NASA's return missions. Our approach takes advantage of two recent innovations in the space industry regarding green monopropellants and additive manufacturing (AM). In the proposed project, we are to design and fabricate a monolithic catalyst bed using selective laser melting (SLM) technology and begin to optimize its catalytic performance with new green monopropellants like AF-M315E and LMP-103S. The overwhelming advances that these two areas have seen in the last few years are making it possible to offer a novel solution to the problems that robotic exploration missions are currently facing. Our proposed solution will enhance thruster life, decrease the risk of catalyst bed failure, and lower the cost of green monopropellant subsystems used in small spacecraft. Our proposed project has two main objectives. First, we will demonstrate the additive manufacture of a monolithic W-Re catalyst substrate that combines high flow area and high internal surface area, to insure high reactivity and low pressure drop. Then, we will begin to develop a thorough understanding of the HAN and ADN chemical behavior at a molecular level, in order to precisely tailor the Ir/Pt/Re catalyst material formulation for maximum catalytic reactivity. More »

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

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