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Center Innovation Fund: LaRC CIF

CO2 Breathing Ramjet Propulsion for Planetary Exploration Applications

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

CO2 Breathing Ramjet Propulsion for Planetary Exploration Applications
Goal: Assess the feasibility of a solid fueled preburner and/or combustor for a ramjet in a carbon dioxide atmosphere using physics-based modeling and simulation. Gap: Atmospheric exploration of planets with carbon dioxide atmospheres (e.g. Venus, Mars) is not currently possible with fuel efficient, conventional air breathing engines (e.g. turbojets) due to the incompatibility of metallic fuels with turbomachinery. Solid-fueled ramjets are a potential solution because they have been developed for terrestrial applications and have no moving parts. A solid fueled ramjet would provide a storable propellant option for planetary atmospheric exploration at high speeds. More »

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