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SBIR/STTR

NLV Upper Stage Development and Flight Testing, Phase II

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Our Phase I results include a preliminary design for an advanced nanosat launch vehicle (NLV) upper stage that features several advanced propulsion technologies, as well as extensive empirical data from a series of pathfinding operations conducted at both the Pacific Spaceport Complex - Alaska on Kodiak Island and the Poker Flat Research Range. For Phase II, we are taking major steps, such as building a prototype upper stage, static fire testing it, and conducting another round of pathfinding operations at Kodiak in pursuit of an opportunity to manifest such a prototype stage on a suborbital flight test. Key technologies include LOX/densified propylene propulsion system, liquid rocket engine featuring a 3D additively manufactured injector, pyro-free mechanisms, and use of elements of NASA's Autonomous Flight Termination Unit. Our RI - University of Alaska Fairbanks - will continue to support the evaluation of UAS utilization for range services like telemetry acquisition. 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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