said Thursday it has successfully tested a state-of-the-art Upper
Stage Engine Technology (USET) Hydrogen Turbopump Assembly (TPA) at
the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Edwards Air Force Base,
Aerojet and its teammate, Florida Turbine Technologies Inc.
(FTT), Jupiter, FL, designed, manufactured, assembled and delivered
the turbopump assembly to the AFRL test facility and successfully
demonstrated steady state operation at 100 percent power. The USET
TPA has undergone 19 tests to date with testing scheduled to
continue through the summer months.
The USET program is an AFRL Integrated High Payoff Rocket
Propulsion Technology (IHPRPT) program that started in 2003 and is
focused on the next generation of physics-based modeling and
simulation design tools that will reduce design time, lower cost
and increase fidelity for the next generation engine. The USET TPA
was designed using this analytical capability while developing key
technologies for insertion to a TPA for a new upper stage rocket
engine that could replace the current Delta IV and Atlas V upper
stage engines. Aerojet's USET TPA is designed for a 45,000
pound-force of thrust upper stage engine and operates at 90,000
rpm. It is about the size of a swimming pool pump.
"Our Aerojet/FTT team has developed the key analytical
capability and technologies required for a next generation upper
stage rocket engine. We've demonstrated and validated the models
and technologies that will ensure an affordable program and much
shorter development schedule than previously possible," said Linda
Cova, executive director, Pump-Fed Engine Development programs at
Aerojet. "An upper stage engine turbopump like this hasn't been
successfully developed in decades."