Flight Hardware Development


KT Engineering has demonstrated expertise in the research and development of advanced aerospace technologies with a focus on pressure-fed chemical rocket engines, high performance pressurization systems, and light-weight metallic tanks and structures. We have successfully designed, fabricated, integrated and tested liquid oxygen and liquid methane rocket engines and small thrusters for NASA and DoD customers. KT Engineering has developed and patented a number of component level technologies that will both improve reliability and reduce cost in future expendable and reusable launch vehicles. A few sample projects are highlighted below.

20,000 lbf LOX/CH4 Engine


KT Engineering served as prime contractor on a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program with the Air Force Research Laboratory. Under this program, KT Engineering led a small Government/Industry team in the design, fabrication, and testing of a 20,000 lbf vacuum thrust liquid oxygen / liquid methane rocket engine. Testing was performed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Test Stand 500 Complex. This first generation engine was subjected to 30 hot fire ignition, short duration, long duration, and dynamic stability tests. The engine met all technical metrics and demonstrated the benefits of methane as a rocket propellant. ( NASA Article )

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20K LOX/CH4 Engine

Ignition Systems & Small Thrusters


KT Engineering pioneered catalytic ignition technology that has led to a family of rocket engine igniters and small thrusters that are highly reliable, durable, and relatively low cost when compared with conventional alternatives. This technology is currently being qualified for use in launch vehicle roll, pitch, and yaw thrusters. The same combustors used in the thruster application are also being qualified as rocket engine main combustion chamber igniters. Development of this family of combustion devices involved extensive testing using room temperature and cryogenic gaseous propellants. KT Engineering’s catalytic ignition technology has been successfully demonstrated with methane, hydrogen, and propane fuels at both room temperature and cryogenic inlet conditions.

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High Performance Pressurization System


KT Engineering has performed extensive research into high performance pressurization systems for pressure-fed launch vehicles. A significant amount of this research has focused on the use of a mixture of an inert gas (helium or nitrogen) and small quantities of oxygen and hydrogen in a stoichiometric mixture ratio. The concentrations of oxygen and hydrogen are low enough that the mixture will not burn nor detonate. However, when passed over a suitable catalyst, the hydrogen and oxygen react to form heat, which warms the inert gas making it a more efficient pressurant. KT Engineering has demonstrated this technology to a NASA TRL of 5-6 and is currently developing and qualifying a flight weight version of this high performance pressurization system.

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