BNI engineers, manufactures and tests a wide range of equipment for numerous aerospace applications. BNI’s space flight hardware includes liquid rocket engine turbopumps, fuel densification systems, liquid fuel thruster pumps, and environmental control system pumps and fans. BNI 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, BNI specializes in contract manufacturing of both individual aerospace components and complete assemblies.
Rocket Engine Propulsion
Every engine developer and launch provider knows that the first step towards achieving success is that first successful engine test and the most complex part of the engine are the turbopumps. That is why BNI 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 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. BNI’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.
For nearly 50 years, BNI 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, BNI provided pumps and fan for NASA’s X-38 Crew Return Vehicle.
As we endeavor to explore beyond the safety of Earth, we must create our own 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.
BNI 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.