Parabilis Space Technologies, Inc. of San Marcos, CA today announced that it was awarded three additional NASA contracts to design, develop, and test new space technologies. “We are extremely pleased with these important NASA program wins,” stated Dave Streich, Chief Executive Officer. “These programs contribute directly to the achievement of NASA’s strategic goals, and add substantially to the product portfolio of Parabilis.”
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In collaboration with the University of Southern California, Parabilis will design and deliver an Orbital Transfer Stage (OTS). This modular propulsion system is specifically designed for Nanosats and Microsats that will be launched as secondary payloads, and will require final operational orbit insertion, tactical inclination/plane change maneuvering, or launch vehicle collision avoidance maneuvering. OTS is directly applicable to NASA’s objective to reduce launch costs for payloads in the 5kg to 180kg range.
Said Greg Berg, Chief Engineer for the OTS program, “This important program will leverage Parabilis’ hybrid propulsion knowledge and additive manufacturing expertise to develop and deliver a small, safe, green propulsion system with density impulse 10-15% higher than competing hydrazine systems.”
Parabilis will design, build, and hot fire test a subscale Liquid Injection Thrust Vector Control (LITVC) system with a regeneratively-cooled, additively-manufactured nozzle to address the steering needs of interplanetary sample return missions. Said Chris Grainger, VP Engineering, “This system will directly address one of the key challenges for JPL’s hybrid rocket motor architecture for a Mars sample return mission, and will integrate seamlessly with Parabilis’ aft-injection center exhaust (ACE) motor design.”
Sample return from extraterrestrial bodies is critical to the advancement of human understanding of the solar system and is a core part of the NASA Science Plan. Sample return missions allow for extensive, Earth-based laboratory study of actual samples rather than interpreting data that is acquired via onboard instruments during a rover mission.
Parabilis will develop and test a dynamically-adjustable, in-line, cavitating flow-control and measurement venturi for use in advanced propulsion system ground testing. This mechanism will add to (and extend) the advantages of using a cavitating venturi to isolate combustion chambers or other downstream process fluctuations from upstream feed pressure conditions. Its geometry will apply to both ultra-high pressure and high-flow rate propulsion testing situations.
Said Chris Grainger, VP Engineering, “This adjustable venturi will meet an important need in the aerospace industry. It is expected to greatly simplify propulsion testing and reduce costs. Lightweight, minimalistic additive manufacturing designs are typically cheaper than traditionally machined parts, providing a significant advantage to the aerospace industry, where mass is at a premium.”