ASCENT (AF-M315E) Monopropellant
PSI is developing and scaling a micro-reactor process to make ASCENT components and intermediates.
Capability Description: ASCENT is considered to be a ‘green’ hydrazine replacement because it is safer, environmentally benign and has higher energy density. PSI is designing a novel electrolytic ignition system for ASCENT that serves as a system-level solution to replace catalyst beds as the propellant ignition source. These electrolytic thrusters are more robust, require less energy and ignite much more rapidly than conventional catalyst-based thrusters. PSI is also developing and scaling a micro-reactor based process to make ASCENT components and intermediates. The PSI design integrates microreactors and microseparators to produce high purity propellants in a ‘plug and play’ fashion.
Benefit to Warfighter/Customer:
ASCENT is seen as the next generation replacement of hydrazine monopropellants in many spacecraft. Not only does it reduce the handling toxicity compared to the extremely hazardous hydrazine but it provides a boost to density specific impulse by 50%.