Low-Cost Integrated Valve/Injectors for Bipropellant Thrusters
The most significant hardware costs on a missile interceptor propulsion system are associated with the thrusters, for which there are typically four divert thrusters and four, six, or eight attitude control thrusters per interceptor. The largest contributor to the thruster cost is the integrated valve/injector. Integration of the valve and injector into a single body provides the benefits of low dribble volume, low weight, and fast response. However, the current designs are subject to serial manufacturing steps, adding to the component"s cost and scchedule. A novel concept for the fabricating the injector was proposed by Montcorp for its Phase I program. A full-scale design was demonstrated in the Phase I effort, which represents the first integrated valve/injector concept that allows complete fabrication of the injector faceplate (including orifices and acoustic cavities) before integration with the valve body. This design provides significant cost and schedule savings in the fabrication of the valve/injector. The Phase II program will accomplish continued design, development, and hot-fire testing of multiple integrated valve/injectors using the injector faceplate concept developed in Phase I. Duty cycles from the qualification of a characteristic production thruster will be used.
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