AKA: Integrated Powerhead Demonstrator. Status: Development ended 2006. Date: 2001-. Thrust: 1,100.00 kN (247,200 lbf).
The Integrated Powerhead Demonstrator (IPD) was a joint venture between NASA and the Integrated High Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technologies program, managed for DoD by the AFRL at EAFB. This project was the first phase of a full-scale effort to develop a flight-rated, full-flow, hydrogen-fueled, staged combustion rocket engine in the 1.1-million-newton thrust class. The IPD would employ dual preburners that provide both oxygen-rich and hydrogen-rich staged combustion. Such combustion was expected to keep engines cool during flight, achieve high system efficiency, and reduce exhaust emissions. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne was developing the liquid-hydrogen fuel turbopump and the demonstrator's oxygen pump, main injector, and main combustion chamber. Aerojet Corporation of Sacramento, California, designed and tested the oxidizer preburner, which initiates the combustion process with oxygen-rich steam. Aerojet also was responsible for development of the demonstrator engine's fuel preburner, designed to supply the fuel turbopump's turbine with hot, hydrogen-rich steam. Boeing-Rocketdyne would lead overall system integration once component-level development and testing were complete. The IPD underwent integrated testing at Stennis Space Center from late 2004 through September 2005, and in April 2005 NASA announced that it was successfully fired during an initial full-duration test.