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Catalytic bi-propellant ignition technology development

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Author: Bouquet, F. · Mayer, A. · Snijders, H. · Brauers, B.
Institution: TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
Source:61st International Astronautical Congress 2010, IAC 2010, Prague, Czech Republic, 27 September-1 October 2010 (Conference code 85176), 8, 6326-6334
Identifier: 430691
ISBN: 9781617823688
Keywords: Energy · Mechatronics, Mechanics & Materials · WS - Weapon Systems · TS - Technical Sciences


For the next generation high thrust engine Aerospace Propulsion Products (APP) and TNO Defence Security and Safety are developing technology for a high-power innovative restartable igniter working on 90% hydrogen peroxide and a liquid or gaseous fuel (ethanol, methane or hydrogen). This development has been done in steps: from a RGHP monopropellant device to a full-scale bi-propellant catalytic igniter with methane that delivers a minimum of 500 kW of thermal power. The latest version of the igniter has an actively cooled tube that delivers a hot core flow and a cooling flow into the engine combustion chamber that combust further outside of the igniter near a stoichiometric mixture ratio. The advantages of this system are the absence of high voltage electronics to start the igniter, which contribute a considerable part of the development costs and possible failure modes of electrically started igniters. The paper describes the functional design of the bi-propellant methane igniter and will present recent test results.