Exclusive use of a very low toxicity monopropellant technology designed as a direct replacement for hydrazine-based systems has been acquired by Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) from European green propulsion technology firm ECAPS.
This agreement will enable ECAPS to fully develop, demonstrate and market a high performance green propulsion (HPGP) system. The HPGP system, which offers significant cost advantages and dramatically reduces the environmental risks associated with traditional monopropellants, is aimed at attitude control and main propulsion.
Orbital ATK’s team will leverage exclusive use of ECAPS’ LMP-103S, which offers significantly higher specific impulse and density, meaning greater performance and lower volume. More importantly, this is a low-toxicity, environmentally-benign propellant and provides enhanced safety and health benefits over conventional hydrazine and offers the promise of propellant loading prior to satellite transport and considerably lower logistics cost.
The partnership continues Orbital ATK’s commitment to HPGP technology, which includes scaling up the blending of LMP-103S, successful tests of 5 and 22 Newton thrusters and supporting several Small Business Innovation Research programs.
Pat Nolan, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK's Missile Products Division of the Defense Systems Group, reported that greener propulsion is one of the keys to making access to space safer while lowering life cycle costs and this partnership will go a long way toward developing innovative and practical solutions for public and private use.
ECAPS was founded in 2000 and focuses on green propulsion-based products for space applications. The company holds a number of patents worldwide for a family of ADN (ammonium dinitramide) -based propellants, catalyst, thruster design and manufacturing methods. ECAPS has its development and hardware manufacturing facilities in Solna in the greater Stockholm, Sweden, area.