The objective of this project is to significantly reduce the time, cost and mass required for spacecrafts to reach their destinations. This is directly linked to their propulsion systems. The only way to significantly improve the performance of a propulsion system is to develop propellants with higher specific impulse.
The objective of the project will be met by developing a high performance solid rocket propellant with performance similar or higher compared to state of the art liquid bi-propellants and about 10% higher compared to the current state of the art solid propellants. The project thus address advanced chemical propulsion technologies and more specifically advanced high energy density fuels, for in-space propulsion, mentioned in the Work Programme.
Development of a high performance solid propellant will be achieved by using the new high energy density oxidizer ammonium dinitramide, ADN, an energetic binder based on glycidyl azide polymer, GAP, and high energy density fuels such as aluminium hydride (AlH3), nano-aluminium and activated aluminium. Recent breakthroughs in the area of high energy density materials at several laboratories in Europe have shown that development of such propellants now seems viable.
The propellant developed will be fully characterized with respect to stability, hazard properties, mechanical properties and performance. The performance will be determined at the end of the project by firing a test motor containing approximately 7 kg of propellant. Finally system analysis will be performed to determine the overall mission benefits by selecting two reference missions.
Currently the high energy density materials to be used in the project are produced in small scale. The methods to produce them will be improved in order to produce the amount needed for the project. These production improvements will also make the materials more available to the space community and thus help to implement them in future missions.
Field of science
- /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP - Collaborative project (generic)