Novel Propulsion Technology
One area that has been largely neglected by the industry in recent years is the development of new, non-hydrocarbon-based propellants. RP-1/LOX has been the standard propellant combination for decades and current research activities are largely focused on the utilization of methane as a fuel. We believe that reductions in launch cost, and more importantly the price of launch that a customer pays, can be realized in part through the successful development of new propellants outside of the hydrocarbon family.
The propulsion system we are developing addresses several areas of interest to government and industry, including:
- An innovative non-cryogenic, safe, “green” and hypergolic propellant;
- New low-cost industrial grade component manufacturing processes;
- Simplified launch operations.
Specifically, we have been working to mature and bring to market a new storable, non-toxic, hypergolic propellant and propulsion system for use in small satellite launch vehicles. The propellant is of a family that has previously been investigated by organizations in the U.S. Department of Defense but never brought out of the laboratory and into the market.
Our work has particular relevance to NASA’s interest in new environmentally-friendly propellants. In addition to the qualities mentioned above, our propellant is notable in that it qualifies as being “green” and does not damage the environment.
We have been developing this propulsion system for the past three years. We have conducted extensive propellant testing to refine the ideal component mixture, ignition time, combustion stability and performance. Significant investments have been made in support of research & development activities and future mass production. We have completed fundamental development culminating in hot-fire ground testing of full-scale engine units.
Our novel propulsion, simplified systems and industrial processes will open up the market to many applications that are not being accommodated or prioritized at present. Our philosophy will open up a whole new range of possibilities while at the same time driving down the price of launch for customers.