Parabilis Space Technologies, Inc. of San Marcos, CA announced today that it has been awarded two additional Air Force contracts to design, develop, and further test its technologies. “We are extremely pleased with these important wins and look forward to meeting the needs of our Air Force customers.” stated Dave Streich, Chief Executive Officer. “The technology and the knowledge gained from these critical government programs can be applied in the growing commercial markets for small launch-vehicle stages, and on-orbit high-thrust propulsion for small satellites.”
Advanced, Economical, In-Space Propulsion
The Air Force has contracted with Parabilis to adapt its commercial hybrid rocket technology to meet the in-space propulsion needs of the DoD for affordable rapid maneuvering, thereby increasing the resiliency of planned space architectures. Chris Grainger, Vice President of Engineering, said: “Current high-thrust propulsion solutions cost millions per spacecraft and use volatile poisonous propellants. Conversely, our high-thrust hybrid propulsion solution will cost a fraction of current solutions and use green propellants that are much easier to handle and substantially safer to fly.”
As a result of this program Parabilis will complete a system-level design, hot fire test and characterize a flight-like motor, then evaluate propulsion system control and performance. Subsequent work will include flight qualification and demonstration, and deployment of an operational space system.
Propulsion for Hypersonic Defense Research
Public sources estimate that the costs for US hypersonic test flights have been >$100 million dollars per flight. Lowering the cost of hypersonic flight testing is critical so the U.S. can more-rapidly develop and deploy defenses against emerging threats. As a result of this program Parabilis will design a hybrid propulsion system that meets customer performance requirements and greatly reduces the cost of hypersonic development and testing, thereby improving the pace and quality of hypersonic missile defense research. Parabilis will build and then hot fire test a flight representative hybrid motor. Subsequent follow-on work will include a flight design, flight qualification, and integration with a test vehicle for actual flight testing.
According to Greg Berg, Vice President of Business Development for Parabilis, “Hybrid propulsion technology is particularly well-suited for hypersonic test profiles that typically require throttling for a boost and coast phase. Throttling is not possible with conventional solid rocket motors and is much more complicated with liquid rocket motors.”
Said Dr. Shannon Eilers, Principal Investigator, “At Parabilis, we have a wide range of options to provide reliable, low-cost propulsion solutions. We are excited about this opportunity to apply our hybrid propulsion knowledge to hypersonic research and development.”