LPS Mission Areas | Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force

LPS Mission Areas

Mission Area I: Liquid Engine Systems

System Models, Analysis, & Data Integration: Analytical tools, system models, and methodologies that create a digital thread of the liquid engine lifecycle. Specific interest in analyses or data integration that enable greater comprehension of system interactions and dependencies; MBE/MBSE architectures, design verification and traceability, risk identification, management of design margins, test data analysis and prediction of integrated-system performance, mass, and cost.

Concurrent Engineering & Design: Areas associated with operations, maintenance, and asset life. Architecture Con-Ops, functional analysis, and designs that improve the efficiency of launch operations or develop a capability for in-space operations.

  • Operability – technologies and designs that increase automation, provide resilient/launch-on-demand capabilities, or enable use over a wider range of environments and applications.
  • Serviceability – rapid inspection, diagnostics, cleaning, remove-and-replace, etc that improve launch availability through responsive anomaly resolutions. Modularity - Engine architectures, technologies, and designs that increase the scalability, applicability, and economies of scale of liquid rocket engines to reduce development timelines and Non-Recurring Engineering costs.
  • Reusability – Design for long in-space missions; 25+ engine firings, refueling operations, system diagnostics, and servicing of critical components.

Liquid Engine Systems for Small Launch Vehicles & Landers: Design, development, test, and evaluation approaches for liquid propellant rocket engines applicable to small landers and launch vehicle stages: reliability, fabrication, testing, operations, and the affordable integration of those areas. Systems that enable autogenous pressurization, deep throttling capability, cryogenic RCS, or wireless instrumentation and controls are of particular interest.

Liquid Engine Systems for Human-Rated Stages & Landers: Design, development, test, and evaluation approaches and planning associated with liquid propellant rocket engines for use on human-rated vehicles; including Lunar and Mars landers, commercial space applications, and NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). Functional requirements and design concepts and/or design modifications for the engines on these vehicles. Approaches for meeting government (NASA, FAA, or OCST) safety and reliability requirements for operation with crew and passengers, including fault tolerance; fault detection, isolation, and recovery; crew interaction, reliability predictions and models, and qualification/certification testing requirements and approaches.

Liquid Rocket Engine (LRE) Development History: Papers addressing the important process which LRE have gone through in the course of their development. Particular subjects of note are successes, failures, mishaps, and lessons learned. Topics can be detailed in their information or can provide a general overview of the program. Papers are not limited to flight systems; testbeds, proof-of-concepts, and R & D programs are encouraged as well.

Test Practices, Standards, and Facilities: Industry-consensus best practices and standards for the test and evaluation of liquid engines, components and propulsion/vehicle interaction. Status, capabilities, and operation of government and commercial rocket engine test facilities. This includes training, problem reporting, failure investigation, lessons learned, safety, FOD control, process control, and infrastructure improvements to meet aggressive technical goals. Concepts and innovations for engine life testing, engine fault detection, flight qualification testing practices, data reduction and uncertainty analysis methodologies, and other test needs to meet future demands are of interest.


Mission Area II: Liquid Combustion Subsystems and Components

Thrust Chamber Assembly (TCA) Design and Applications: Papers are sought that address major components such as combustion chamber, and nozzle design and their component test and integration. This mission area seeks papers in main combustion chambers, preburners, and gas generators for all sizes of liquid rocket engines.

Hydrocarbon Fuel Characteristics and Specifications: Papers addressing the specifications for various hydrocarbon fuels, including RP-1, methane, alternate hydrocarbon fuels, including, but not limited to: JP-10, ethanol/methanol, JPTS, and Fischer-Tropsch; fuel additives to improve system performance, and studies comparing the advantages and disadvantages of various hydrocarbon fuels.

Combustion Stability: Papers addressing design and performance challenges, modeling and simulations techniques, and scaling methods associated with combustion stability in main combustion chambers, preburners, and gas generators for all sizes liquid rocket engines.

Liquid Injection Systems: The injection system of liquid rocket engines is critical to system performance. This mission area seeks papers describing new injector concepts, the physical processes required to understand injection concepts (including supercritical jets, sprays, and droplets), and methods to determine injector performance and stability.

Modeling and Simulation: Recent advances in modeling and simulation bring forward new capabilities to performance prediction and design of combustion devices. Papers are sought that look at the recent developments, new techniques, results of implementation or comparison with tests. Aspects covered include, but are not limited to: hot gas flow fields, heat transfer, cooling mechanism, integrated models, and injector element dynamics.

Advanced Liquid and Gel Propellants: Papers are sought addressing advanced liquid and gel propellants and the development of supporting technologies such as “Green” propellants, fuel management systems and lightweight tankage systems to advance state-of-the-art chemical capabilities.
Hybrid Rocket Engines: Papers addressing hybrid rocket engine systems and the combustion process in these systems.


Mission Area III: Liquid Propellant Feed and Pressurization Systems

Turbomachinery Design and Applications: Turbopump- fed liquid rocket engine systems require the use of high speed and high performance rotating machinery. Turbomachinery for this application requires support from a wide range of technical disciplines. Technical areas typically considered include the design, analysis, and testing of inducers, impellers, turbines, seals, bearings and structural elements. Papers on liquid rocket engine turbomachinery are being sought that cover all aspects of design, analysis, code development, component test results, test rig development, diagnostics techniques, and system level testing.

Pressurization and Feed Subsystem Design and Applications: This area covers all aspects of design, analysis and testing of the propellant feed system and engine system specific elements. The propellant feed system is composed of tanks, major component lines, pressurization systems, ducts, feed system control valves, and suppression systems. Engine system specific elements include ducts, flow measurement devices and valves. Papers are being sought which address design, analysis, tool development, diagnostics techniques, and testing of propellant feed system elements and engine system specific elements.

Electric Pump Systems: Advances in battery technology and electric motor technology have made it possible to use electric motors to drive propellant pumps. Electric pump systems have applications in rocket engines and propellant feed systems. Papers on electric pump systems are being sought that describes the unique flight system requirements, architecture, and design constraints. Also encompassing all aspects of the pump design, analysis, control system design, component test results, test rig development, diagnostics techniques, and system level testing.


Mission Area IV: Advanced Materials for Liquid Propulsion Applications

Material Applications in Liquid Rocket Engines: Papers are sought addressing advanced materials and processing for liquid rocket propulsion systems, including:

  • Material technologies resulting in significant thrust-to-weight ratio increases and/or performance advantages over state-of-the-art capabilities
  • Lightweight, high-temperature nozzle materials
  • Polymer matrix composites (PMCs) for lightweight components and structures
  • PMC resin development for high-temperature or cryogenic environments
  • Materials for lightweight lines, ducts, valves, and tanks
  • Metals, ceramics, and their composites for component applications
  • Materials and production methods for lower lifecycle costs
  • Processing methods to shorten concept-to-part times such as selective laser sintering and other rapid prototyping methods
  • Near net shape production for components and structures
  • Modeling of materials for liquid rocket engines

Materials For Commercial Space Transportation: The recent shift by NASA to commercial space transportation to the ISS under COTS has created the need for low-cost, high performance material solutions for a new generation of space vehicle engines. Papers are sought addressing areas such as:

  • Materials selection criteria
  • Material characterization requirements
  • Flight qualification standards for materials
  • Risk management as related to materials selections

Heavy Lift Launch Vehicles: A need for heavy lift launch vehicles (>100 metric tons payload) has been identified for future space exploration and other missions. Such a launch vehicle will likely require engines in the 1 million pound thrust class as well as smaller upper stage and other liquid-fueled engines. Papers are sought addressing:

  • Manufacturing and production of new liquid fueled engines
  • Integrated health management for materials and structures
  • Lightweight tanks and composite ducts
  • Materials for reusable engines
  • Concepts for material solutions that optimize the entire propulsion system for improved performance

Nanotechnology For Liquid Propulsion Systems: Application of new nanomaterials to liquid propulsion systems has the potential to greatly increase performance of future engines. Papers are sought to address:

  • Nanomaterials and nanoprocessing to improve strength, conductivity, density, modulus, and other properties
  • Concepts of how to integrate nanotechnology into future liquid-fueled rocket engines
  • Nanotechnology areas that may have high payoffs for liquid rocket engine systems

Materials For Green Fuel Engines: In addition to the traditional hydrogen, hydrocarbon and hypergolic engines, new engines with “green” fuels such as methane and ethanol as well as newer fuels that go beyond the traditional definition of green fuels have been proposed. Little work has been done to address the compatibility of these fuels and their combustion products with current and potential future engine materials. Papers are sought to address:

  • Environmental corrosion issues for both the fuels and the combustion products
  • Compatibility test methods
  • Materials concepts for future green fueled engines
  • Concepts for future engines and materials for them

Turbomachinery Materials: Turbomachinery require new materials or coatings to address new engine cycles such as oxygen-rich staged combustion. The chemical and temperature environments will be considerably different than prior expander or gas-generator cycles. Papers are sought to address potential issues such as:

  • Hydrogen and oxygen compatibility
  • Testing for oxygen promoted combustion and hydrogen embrittlement
  • Development process for new materials
  • Criteria for inserting new materials into turbomachinery for hydrogen-, hydrocarbon- and green-fueled engines