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Demonstrations (U)

Overview (U):

(U) The Demonstrators subthrust is divided into two areas: (1) Liquid Demonstrators, and (2) Solid Demonstrators. The demonstrators in these areas will show the achievement of the Integrated High Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technology program (IHPRPT) goals. The measurable metrics selected as goals will be fully demonstrated when combined with data from the components and propellants programs and thus prove the nations capability to move into full scale development of a rocket propulsion system with the increased capabilities.

Description (U):

(U) The Integrated Power-Head Demonstration is the largest program currently running at the Propulsion Directorate. New materials, designs, and manufacturing processes for boost and orbit transfer engine power-head components have been investigated over the past 10 years particularly in the areas of turbopump bearings, turbopump seals, and gas generators. These dual-use technologies will have significant payoff in terms of reliability, operation costs, and payload performance for expendable launch systems where increased reliability and operability are required and fully reusable launch vehicles where a factor of 50 increase in turbopump life and a 30% reduction in engine weight are required to achieve the projected 75% launch cost reduction. These technologies have not been developed and demonstrated in an integrated design and are therefore too risky to incorporate into current expendable engines or prototype reusable engines. The purpose of this project is to develop the turbopump component technologies and conduct an integrated demonstration of these technologies within an engine. This requires development of an engine layout and productions of special test equipment consisting of turbine bypass valves, turbopump discharge valves, and a main injector. These turbopump technologies will have application to cost reduction and reliability enhancement efforts on existing expendable launch vehicles and new expendable launch vehicles. They will also apply to reusable launch vehicles and will demonstrate IHPRPT 2000 thrust-to-weight, performance and cost goals. Once this project is completed prototype expendable and reusable engine designs can incorporate the technology for drastically improved engine capabilities.

(U) In FY97, the LOX/LH2 upper stage Demonstrator which is a 1300 psi upper stage engine began in FY97. This program will combine the components from the Advanced Liquid Hydrogen pump and Advanced Expander Cycle Thrust Chamber Assembly programs with other components to demonstrate the feasibility of an upper stage expander engine that meets the IHPRPT Phase I goals.

(U) The current generation of solid rocket propellants used for space launch and other weapons pose environmental difficulties of increasing significance. The manufacturing of current propellants and associated motor components produce significant quantities of waste. Much of this waste cannot be reclaimed, recycled, or reduced due to the chemical characteristics of these current propulsion materials and the operations presently employed. Solid rockets are an essential part of the fleet of launch vehicles that carry DoD and national security payloads: Titan IV, STS, Delta and others. In addition, all strategic and tactical missiles use solid rocket stages. A new generation of advanced solid space propellants with related components and manufacturing operations must be produced to meet future and current performance, cost, and environmental constraints.

(U) This Strategic Sustainment demonstrator will demonstrate and validate a low-risk and a low-cost solid propulsion system that enhances the performance and reliability, and in addition reduces the cost of Air Force space lifters. The program will use proven solid propulsion technology. Program priorities in the order of importance are performance, reliability, and low cost. The candidate system will qualify an applicable processing approach and be tested in a space launch motor.

(U) This development effort shall further define and characterize an advanced propellant that shall have high reliability and be low in cost. The candidate propellant shall be a viable propellant that is capable of being tailored for a variety of space launch motor configurations. Upon program completion, this candidate propellant shall be sufficiently characterized for incorporation into a space lifter propulsion system.

(U) The program shall establish the propellant formulation, document any propulsion areas of concern, characterize motor components and demonstrate it in a selected space launch motor. It shall preliminarily characterize the propellant and propellant processing in a representative space lift motor in preparation for the start of a space lifter qualification and production program.

User Impact (U):

(U) None.

Programmatics (U):

(U) Concept/Technology.

Images (U):

(U) None.

Related Initiatives (U): None.

Related Requirements (U):None.

Related Categories (U):
Boost & Orbit Transfer TechBoost and Orbit Transfer Propulsion Technology
This Table Is Unclassified.

Road Map Placements (U):

This Table Is Unclassified.

Requirements, Funding and Additional Hotlinks (U):

RDT&E Budget Item Project 1011
This Table Is Unclassified.

Lead Office (U):

(U) Air Force.

Point of Contact (U):

(U) Maj Mike LaPointe, NSSA, Open Phone: (703) 325-6422, DSN 221-6422.
(U) National Security Space Road Map Team, NSSA, Open Phone: (703)808-6040, DSN 898-6040.

Date Of Information (U):

(U) 15 June 1997

(U) Road Map Production Date: 12 July 1999

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