ORBITEC Set to Test New Vortex Engine

ORBITEC's Vortex engine. (Credit: ORBITEC)

An interesting item from the Wisconsin State Journal on a new rocket engine design:

Orbital Technologies Corp. received the first of two rockets that could someday send the Madison company’s fortunes sky high — or at least fulfill the dreams of its rocket scientists. The rockets — built by Garvey Spacecraft Corp., of Long Beach, Calif., and California State University at Long Beach — will incorporate a vortex rocket engine designed by Orbitec.

The description on the ORBITEC website reads:

ORBITEC is focused on the development and demonstration of innovative, low-cost components for propulsion systems, including the “Vortex Combustion Cold-Wall (VCCW)” thrust chamber assemblies for boost and upper stage applications.

The VCCW uses ORBITEC’s revolutionary, patented vortex combustion process to confine propellant mixing and burning to the central core region of a coaxial vortex flow field. This enables dramatic cost savings through robust design margins leading to extremely high durability, reliability, and reusability in engines that are inexpensive to manufacture and maintain.

ORBITEC is also applying the coaxial vortex flow field to hybrid rocket engine systems that produce fuel regression rates significantly higher than conventional hybrid configurations. This increase in fuel regression rate enables the use of a simple circular grain port and leads to significant gains in performance, reliability, and durability of hybrid systems.

Read the full story.