BN engineers, manufactures, and tests various equipment for numerous aerospace applications. BN’s space flight hardware includes liquid rocket engine turbopumps, fuel densification systems, liquid fuel thruster pumps, and environmental control system pumps and fans. BN has the expertise to meet the space flight industry’s strict design specifications, specialized material requirements, and conformance to high-quality standards. Engineered products are designed using the aerospace ConDR/PDR/CDR process, addressing a variety of MIL and NASA standards. Additionally, BN specializes in contract manufacturing of individual aerospace components and complete assemblies. BN was honored to receive the Aerospace Manufacturer of the Year award in 2020 and 2022.
Rocket Engine Propulsion
Every engine developer and launch provider knows that the first step towards success is the first successful engine test, and the most complex part of the engine is the turbopump. That is why BN is the go-to developer and manufacturer of turbopumps for high-performance liquid rocket engines.
Any propellant combination in any thrust class, we have an industry reputation for supplying rocket engine turbopumps that work the first time, on time, with no surprises, and at a reasonable cost, providing our propulsion customers with the relief of knowing at least one part of a very challenging problem is taken care of. BN’s record of success is driven by the knowledge that our customers’ successful engine tests mean continued success for us. NASA FASTRAC, Space-X’s Merlin-1, Virgin Orbit’s NewtonThree, and Relativity Space’s Aeon-1 are just several of the engines we’ve supported that have gone on to perform successful testing and implementation. Check out our space turbomachinery.
For nearly 50 years, BN has helped our customers design and develop effective cooling systems for aerospace applications. In many instances, this has included custom-designed pumps, compressors, and fans for cooling duties to meet rigorous customer requirements. As an example, BN provided pumps and fans for NASA’s X-38 Crew Return Vehicle.
As we endeavor to explore beyond the safety of Earth, we must create an environment suitable for survival. Barber-Nichols is dedicated to the integrity and quality of its hardware in applications that support the lives of our explorers. Our experience includes fans for the circulation of crew cabin air and 100% oxygen, as well as crew cabin thermal control system pumps. Check out our latest ventilation loop fan for NASA’s future space suits.
BN develops and manufactures high-speed turbines that are close-coupled to a permanent magnet alternator to generate onboard power for various vehicle applications. Designs can be engineered to utilize numerous available hot gas streams, and electronics incorporated to regulate output power as needed for vehicle systems. High-speed designs that incorporate advanced architectures and semiconductor technologies provide compact, power-dense, highly efficient assemblies which are ideal for aerospace applications.
Most of today’s largest rockets utilize LOX and LH2 as engine propellants. Engineers at Rockwell Space Systems pioneered a simple idea for the densification of propellants which will revolutionize space travel. By lowering the temperatures of these fluids prior to transport to the launch vehicle’s tanks, the volume required to store the propellants is reduced by approximately 7-15%. This substantially reduces tank size requirements and launch vehicle weight. With low earth orbit cost estimates at $10,000 per pound, this process results in substantial savings and the ability to launch greater payloads. Barber-Nichols designed and built the intricate series of pumps and compressors used on the first scaled-down version of this innovative system. Originally tested at NASA’s Lewis Plumbrook Field Station, results were positive. A full-sized system was then designed and built for both oxygen and hydrogen and tested at NASA’s Glenn Research Center.