Hydrocarbon Boost (HCB)
The Hydrocarbon Boost Technology Demonstrator (HBTD) program is maturing critical technologies to reduce the risk in developing a long-life liquid oxygen/kerosene oxygen-rich staged combustion booster engine. The program is part of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Integrated High Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technologies (IHPRPT) program focused on long term technical challenges.
The program was initiated in 2007 and is scheduled to be complete in 2020, with planning to manage the critical path within the projected funding constraints. The engine is a high performance 250klbf thrust propulsion system with a deep throttle and long life requirement. It will be tested in a brassboard configuration at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) Test Stand 2A (TS-2A). The engine is to be systematically developed with component level risk reduction conducted first. This will occur during the preliminary design phase and results will be incorporated into the full scale designs. Full scale components will be fabricated and tested to support the subsequent subsystem tests. Once operation is characterized at the subsystem level, the hardware will be assembled into the engine configuration and full system testing will be conducted.
The three critical components are the ox-rich preburner (ORPB), turbopump assembly (TPA), and the thrust chamber assembly (TCA). The ORPB is a full flow combustion device that operates at a low 7 mixture ratio, close to stoichiometric. Downstream LOX diluent is injected into the hot gas to produce uniform temperature gas to the turbine. The TPA is an integrated design with boost pumps that operate at low speed while the main pumps operate at high speed. The dual speed approach allows the hardware to be optimized for performance while reducing weight, essential to meet IHPRPT goals. The configuration includes a center mounted turbine design and incorporates Mondaloy 200™ to provide the high strength ox-resistant material. The TCA design uses a high performance injector and thermal management approach that tailors cooling level to match the heat flux along the axial length of the chamber. This allows chamber losses to be minimized and overall TCA performance to be maximized.
The HBTD program is a great fit for The Rocket Shop's organization due to the research and development nature of the product.