Propellant Utilization System
Provide a propulsion system which meets the weight and propellant requirements while providing adequate space within the flight vehicle for the tankage, airframe, crew and their life support systems as well a payload.
The invention is a propellant utilization system for flight vehicles operating in both the subsonic an supersonic speed ranges. In particular, the invention uses steam and water produced in the system to replace hydrogen for power generation and as a coolant, respectively. It also provides for the utilization of oxygen obtained from air captured by the air inlet instead of oxygen stored in the vehicle.
The basic concept involves storing propellants or monopropellant in their optimal energy/phase states, passing the propellants through appropriate turboexpanders, compressors, pumps, catalytic beds, reactors, heat exchangers, separators and condensers to obtain the desired composition, phase and energy state prior to injection into a combined rocket-ramjet/scramjet (ramscramjet) propulsion system. The propellants are partitioned to provide coolant flows for forced convection, transpiration and/or film cooling systems, as the motive fluid for an ejector, as the fuel to react with air ingested in the engine, as a turbulence enhancer or inhibitor, as a reaction suppressor and as a boundary layer energizer.
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