NASA MIRO cSETR research includes fundamental combustion of Oxygen/Methane. These propellants may be manufactured at Moon or Mars landing sites. This will enhance exploration because propellant for return flights is available. Our focus is flame length, mixing efficiency, and heat transfer. We do research in ignition, thruster operation, and rocket performance. We measure heat transfer coefficients incorporating surface roughness and propellant state in the cooling channels to enable throttling and steady state of rockets.
Develop processes for mission design, satellite manufacture, and propulsion system configurations that use additive manufacturing to enable lightweight small satellites to be designed by students and flown on launch vehicles as auxiliary payloads. A primary effort is developing green propellant systems using hydrogen peroxide, ADN, and HAN based propellants to replace the highly toxic hydrazine monopropellant that is presently used for small thrusters. These efforts include catalyst design, ignition, and analysis of plume gas constituents.
Unmanned Aerial Systems
MIRO cSETR focuses on wide a wide range of of leading-edge UAS research.The main areas of focus are: Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) systems, autonomous long/range endurance aircraft (both to fixed and rotary wing), advanced sensors and applicaitons (to include EO, Multispectral, IR, and UV), advanced post-processing capability to produce a range of research-gradedata products, and UAV Ground and flight academics.
Fundamental research to improve combustion processes to enable cleaner burning with less pollution. This effort involves high-pressure combustion using oxygen and coal to generate less carbon dioxide and also recovery of carbon dioxide to prevent discharge into the atmosphere. We use computer models, computational fluid dynamics, and pilot plants to verify the processes can be scaled up and applied for new industry power plants.