Northrop Grumman offers the complete range of products and services needed to develop and produce high quality flight hardware. The reliability of our propulsion products has been proven over four decades of flight experience - no spacecraft, launcher or missile has failed because of a failure in a Northrop Grumman-built propulsion system. Further, no Northrop Grumman bipropellant or gel rocket engine has ever suffered a flight failure in more than 100 separate missions for a wide variety of programs.
Current Northrop Grumman propulsion products include flight-proven systems, bipropellant engines and thrusters, monopropellant thrusters, and gel propulsion systems. A line of standard components help provide best value - required performance with high reliability at low cost - for our customers.
Northrop Grumman's propulsion-related services include engineering, fabrication, integration, testing and documentation. Our highly experienced engineering staff is expert in the design, analyses and testing of propulsion components and integrated systems. Our chemistry technology capability provides a full range of analytical support for propellant and rocket materials development.
Propulsion Systems Analyses
The Propulsion Systems Center has the extensive analysis experience, capabilities and tools needed to design propulsion systems, high-energy lasers and cryogenic coolers.
Analyses include the effects of non-equilibrium chemistry and multiple phases. A detailed combustor analysis (3-dimensional, non-equilibrium chemistry) to evaluate heat transfer and combustion efficiency was central to the design of Northrop Grumman's advanced SCAT thruster.
Plume effects analysis capabilities include evaluating high altitude plume effects (plume impingement and contamination) and plume signatures (IR, VUV and millimeter wave) using direct simulation Monte Carlo simulation. Plume signature analyses incorporate proprietary methods for all types of thrusters over a wide span of wavelengths.
Propellant Management and Slosh Effects
Propellant management device and propellant slosh characterization capabilities range from micro-gravity to launch environments. Several detailed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools support these design efforts.
Structural, Dynamics, Heat Transfer
Design analysis of propulsion, HEL, and cryogenic-cooler system components using commercial software tools (e.g., ANSYS).
Bipropellant Engines & Thrusters
Northrop Grumman continues to develop new bipropellant engines and thrusters in response to customer needs. Northrop Grumman has a long heritage of design, manufacture, integration and testing of bipropellant systems for satellites and spacecraft. Recent development activities have focused on Reaction Control Systems (RCS) engine alternatives for NASA's Space Exploration Systems.
Northrop Grumman's current product line of bipropellant rockets includes:
- TR-308 Liquid Apogee Engine, which placed the NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory spacecraft into its final orbit. The Liquid Apogee Engine (LAE) is the world's highest performing apogee engine.
- TR-312 Liquid Apogee Engines (TR-312-100MN and TR-312-100YN) which have completed DVT testing for commerical geostationary comsat applications.
- TR-500 Secondary Combustion Augmented Thruster (SCAT) Bi-Modal Thruster, flight-proven on the National Reconnaissance Office's Geosynchronous Lightweight Technology Experiment (GeoLITE) program.
- TR-711 Gel Boost Engine, which powered the world's first flight of a tactical missile utilizing gelled propellants and achieved a 700:1 Thurst-to-Weight Ratio.
- LOX/LH2 and LOX/Ethanol RCS engines successfully test fired in 1000 lbf and 870 lbf configurations, respectively.
- NASA RCE contract for a 100 lbf class LOX/Methane.