July 2, 2012
The BAC Lab just obtained a $125,000 grant from NASA's Space Technology Program to help develop a saturated fluid pistonless pump for suborbital flight. This research will be carried out in conjuction with students at Iowa State University, industry (FloMetrics, Inc.), and NASA Langley.
The goal of the project is to advance the technology of pistonless rocket fuel pumps- an innovative type of liquid rocket engine pump. Pistonless pumps promise higher reliability and more robust operation than traditional liquid rocket engine turbopumps through fewer moving parts and simpler operation. The lab recieved a grant through a recently accepted NASA RFP through the Office of the Chief Technologist on Game Changing Technologies for the development of suborbital space vehicles. This award will fund the development of a fully capable pistonless pump experiment, to be flown aboard Virgin Galactic’s upcoming SpaceShipTwo re-usable suborbital spacecraft.
More on this can be read in the NASA press release.