new acetylene ammonia mixture to replace dangerous hydrogen
NPO "Energomash" started the development of a new rocket engine on a completely new fuel — a mixture of acetylene and ammonia (atsetame). According to the developers, its introduction will reduce the cost of missile launches and abandon costly infrastructure for the production of hydrogen, which has to support right at the launch site. As a result, be able to reduce the cost of missile launches.
— A mixture of acetylene and ammonia, even on a rough estimate, 20 times cheaper than hydrogen — hydrogen kilogram is about 2 thousand rubles, pounds atsetama — a maximum of $ 100. At a rate of five — seven tons can save a considerable amount. In addition, the components included in the acetyl can be back> no problem to store and transport, and for hydrogen requires special storage — told "Izvestia" director of innovation NPO "Energomash" Anatoly Likhvantsev.
According to him, a mixture of acetylene and ammonia was chosen during the selection of substances that can stabilize the explosive acetylene. The competitors were methane and ammonia water, which showed worse results than the stabilizing function high cooling capacity, while the ammonia they are brilliant (it is even used in refrigerators for cooling).
The new engine on atsetame will do on the basis of oxygen kerosene engine RD-161, which will get the index "active site". Compared with its predecessor atsetamovy will be 30% more energy efficient. The exact parameters will be determined during testing of the mixture, which will begin this year and will last about three years.
Once the optimal ratio of acetylene and ammonia find (fuel is sufficiently effective and thus will not explode on each stroke), the designers refine the parameters of the engine, according to the preliminary estimate that it does not require major design changes since the physical properties of atsetama not differ much from kerosene . Because of this upper stage with the new engine will be put on existing launch vehicles — this is again profitable than to develop it under a new missile.
The developers plan to launch rockets with the new engine into space as early as 2017-2018 years. However, the timing will depend on the amount of funding — the more copies of the poster will be able to make the engine, the faster will be able to check all the modes. The first poster design will be mounted on a bench under the base of Sergiev Posad.
Director of development space cluster Fund "Skolkovo" Dmitry Paison, in turn, noted that despite not striking the cost parameters, the replacement of kerosene and hydrogen rocket fuel to new levels can be a cost-effective project.
— Hydrogen is very cumbersome — it needs to be protected from the heat, because of this it is difficult to carry. It is therefore easier to produce it directly to the launch site before refueling. Acetyl can be transported at ambient temperature, as the usual kerosene. Moreover, its energy efficiency is higher than the oxygen-kerosene and danger to the environment is lower than the same heptyl — Paison explained. — Besides, it is much more dense, you can make a smaller volume tanks.
He added that from the point of view of improving the design of conventional liquid rocket engines modern KB, appear to have come to a certain barrier. The search for new solutions in rocket today are conducted in terms of new materials, fuels and production technologies.