A paper describes a method for regeneratively cooling worst-case gas-phase thrusters using porous media integrated into a regenerative cooling jacket. The enhanced surface area in the jacket compensates for the much lower effective heat transfer coefficients of gases as compared to liquids.

NOFB (nitrous oxide fuel blend) monopropellants generate extremely hot combustion gases in order to obtain high specific impulse performance. The immediate intended use of this propulsion technology is for NOFB monopropellant thrusters. These NOFB monopropellant blends have Isp values >310 s. Use of porous media regenerative-jacket heat transfer enhancement with NOFB monopropellant blends will create robust thrusters that can drastically reduce the mass for a large number of space vehicles.

NOFB monopropellants are non-toxic and would dramatically reduce the cost and time necessary for flight qualifying hardware. For man-rated applications, there are additional operational aspects of non-toxic monopropellants that are considered desirable.

This work was done by Greg Mungas, David Fisher, and Christopher Mungas of Firestar Engineering for Johnson Space Center.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

Firestar Technologies™
1124 Flight Line Street #64
Mojave, CA 93501

Refer to MSC-24519-1.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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