New Mexico Patent of the Month – March 2024

X-Bow Launch Systems Inc. – an industry leading space technology company – has been granted a patent for a new approach to making fuel grain for use in rocket motors. The technology is built on additive manufacturing methods, enabling new approaches to designing and manufacturing rocket fuels with complex geometries – like hybrid fuel chambers.

Existing attempts at additive manufacturing – based fuel production have led to excessive fabrication waste, excessive energy expenditure, and ultimate inefficiencies. X-Bow Launch Systems’ method addresses these limitations, achieving a sophisticated method of making fuel grains for rocket motors or gas generators. 

Unlike conventional approaches, this method involves blending energetic nanoscale metallic compounds with suitable rocket fuel to form a feedstock material. This material undergoes successive drying and heating, elevating its temperature and internal friction to achieve a pre- established viscosity ideal for additive manufacturing. The result is a feedstock material highly adapted to additive manufacturing apparatus, paving the way for the creation of optimized rocket motor fuel grains.

But what truly sets this method apart is its integration with competitive simulations, a game-changing aspect of the invention. These simulations, powered by advanced computing systems, enable the optimization of rocket fuel grain architectures and operation parameters. From hybrid fuel grain design to flight aerodynamics, every aspect is meticulously fine-tuned to perfection, pushing the boundaries of rocket propulsion efficiency and performance.

The fuel grains produced through this method exhibit unparalleled versatility and functionality. Embedded with permeable pores and electrochemical sensors, they enable real-time monitoring of fuel consumption and flight dynamics, ushering in a new era of precision control and safety in rocket propulsion.

The invention introduces the concept of user-generated stochastic simulation limitations, allowing users to tailor stochastic deposition simulations to their specific needs. This customization empowers users to modify fuel grain architectures and optimize performance according to their unique requirements, unlocking endless possibilities for innovation and experimentation.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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