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Better fuel for spacecraft is being developed at FOI as part of an EU project

FOI is coordinating a three year EU funded project to develop propellants that deliver better performance for spacecraft. - The ultimate aim is obtain more scientific data from future space expeditions, says FOI scientist and project leader, Niklas Wingborg.


Niklas WingborgNiklas Wingborg, project leader

The three year HISP research project has been coordinated by FOI since the beginning of 2011. The project is part of the seventh EU framework programme and is a collaborative effort with eight other  participants from both industry and the university sector. The project is seeking to develop better performing propellants for spacecraft.

- Improving the performance of propellants will enable a spacecraft to carry a greater useful load, such as more sensors and instruments. Which means more scientific data can be obtained from a space voyage, adds Wingborg.

Rocket motors in spacecraft are powered by liquid propellants today. Although they deliver high performance, they are complicated. In certain cases, it is better to use rocket motors with solid propellants, but the downside with these is low performance.

- Our brief in the project is to develop solid propellants that offer the same performance as today’s liquid propellants, explains Wingborg.

In addition to coordinating the project, FOI will also be primarily working on the development of the propellant and analysing its characteristics.

- We are also going to analyse its combustion properties and performance in rocket motors,  says Wingborg.

FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency

Swedish Defence Research Agency
SE-164 90 Stockholm

Phone +46 8 555 030 00
Fax +46 8 555 031 00

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