High Thrust MEMS Bipropellant Liquid Rocket Engines


MIT is developing micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based rocket engines, gas turbine engines, and chemical lasers under the umbrella of the MIT MicroEngine Project. Based on silicon micro machining technology , the rocket engine is a high pressure (100 atm chamber pressure) liquid, bi-propellant motor. It consists of three functional subsystems: a regeneratively cooled thrust chamber and nozzle, turbopumps, and control valves. The design goal is 280-300 sec of specific impulse at 1-3 lbs of thrust with storable propellants. After briefly describing the overall project, this talk will address the applications for and technical requirements of such high power MEMS rocket propulsion systems and review progress to date including test results.