Pistonless Pump

The application of a pistonless pump to a launch vehicle or spacecraft can provide cost and reliability improvements over standard pressure fed or turbo pump fed designs .Calculations show that in a first stage launch vehicle application,a system which uses the pistonless pump has comparable performance to gas generator turbo-pump designs.

The performance can be improved by using low pressure liquid helium which is pumped using a pistonless pump to high pressure and then heated at the engine.This allows for lower pressurant tankage weight.This system uses less than 1% of the fuel mass in liquid helium,which offers a performance advantage over comparable gas generator turbo-pump powered rockets.

A complete overall vehicle design is presented which shows how the various systems are integrated and how much each component weighs.The vehicle uses LOX/hydrocarbon propellants at moderate to high pressures to achieve high performance at low weight and low cost.The pump is also shown to have significant performance and flexibility increases for spacecreft when combined with high pressure storable propellant engines.The proposed pump is also applicable to pumping gelled propellants.

A Pistonless Pump is a type of pump designed to move fluids without any moving parts other than three chamber valves. The pump contains a chamber which has a valved inlet from the fluid to be pumped, a valved outlet - both of these at the bottom of the pump, and a pressurant inlet at the top of the pump. A pressurant is used, such as steam or pressurized helium, to drive the fluid through the pump.

This paper proposes a pistonless pump as a alternative to turbo- pump and pressure fed systems in both boost and upper stage applications and also for space vehicles.The pistonless pump offers significant cost, reliability and performance advantages . These advantages are related to the simplicity of the design. A discussion on how to optimized vehicle which uses the proposed pump is presented in terms of chamber pressure .A comparison using this optimization procedure is also presented for pressure fed and turbo-pump systems .Any pressurized as which is compatible with the propellant may power the pump,but this paper will focus on two possibilities: gaseous helium which is stored in composite tanks or liquid helium(he) which is stored in a low pressure Dewar, pressurized by a pistonless pump and vaporized at the rocket engine.The pump may also be used for space propels on, where it ofers a number of advantages in performance , safety and flexibility for space vehicle designers.