Patent Number: 7,762,058

Title: Ultra-compact, high performance aerovortical rocket thruster

Abstract: An ultra-compact aerovortical swirl-enhanced combustion (ASC) system features an aerovortical swirl generator for use in rocket thrusters utilizing hypergolic or non-hypergolic propellants. The ACS thruster can be sized for diameters ranging from about 0.5 to about 2.0 inches, and producing thrust levels of approximately 5 lb.sub.f to about 250 lb.sub.f. A plurality of helicoid flow channels in the swirl generator introduces swirl into a flow stream of a first propellant within ultra-compact sized rocket thrusters. The ASC system also includes injectors for introducing a second liquid propellant into the swirling flowfield to promote rapid and efficient atomization, mixing and vigorous combustion, which, results in major improvements in combustion and propulsion performance over current rocket thrusters, but in much shorter combustor systems. Hence, the ultra-compact ASC system is a substantial improvement in small bipropellant chemical propulsion thrusters, which can be utilized in-space satellite, spacecraft maneuvering and attitude/orbit control.

Inventors: Pederson; Robert J. (Thousand Oaks, CA), Schmotolocha; Stephen N. (Thousand Oaks, CA)

Assignee: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc.

International Classification: F02K 9/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 7/27/12018