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Demonstration of a Non-Toxic Reaction Control EngineT:hree non-toxic demonstration reaction control engines (RCE) were successfully tested at the Aerojet Sacramento facility under a technology contract sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The goals of the NASA MSFC contract (NAS8-01109) were to develop and expand the technical maturity of a non-toxic, on-orbit auxiliary propulsion system (APS) thruster under the auspices of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. The demonstration engine utilized Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Ethanol as propellants to produce 870 lbf thrust. The Aerojet RCE's were successfully acceptance tested over a broad range of operating conditions. Steady state tests evaluated engine response to varying chamber pressures and mixture ratios. In addition to the steady state tests, a variety of pulsing tests were conducted over a wide range of electrical pulse widths (EPW). Each EPW condition was also tested over a range of percent duty cycles (DC), and bit impulse and pulsing specific impulse were determined for each of these conditions. Subsequent to acceptance testing at Aerojet, these three engines were delivered to the NASA White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) in April 2005 for incorporation into a cryogenic Auxiliary Propulsion System Test Bed (APSTB). The APSTB is a test article that will be utilized in an altitude test cell to simulate anticipated mission applications. The objectives of this APSTB testing included evaluation of engine performance over an extended duty cycle map of propellant pressure and temperature, as well as engine and system performance at typical mission duty cycles over extended periods of time. This paper provides acceptance test results and a status of the engine performance as part of the system level testing.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Robinson, Philip J. (Aerojet-General Corp. Sacramento, CA, United States)
Turpin, Alicia A. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Veith, Eric M. (Aerojet-General Corp. Sacramento, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
May 14, 2007
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Meeting Information
54th JPM/3rd LPS/2nd SPS/5th MSS Joint JANNAF Meeting(Denver, CO)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.