Mainstream to Develop Injector for Small Unmanned Propulsion Systems

ROCKLEDGE, FL – June 25, 2008 – Mainstream Engineering Corporation, leading research, and development company specializing in advanced thermal control and energy conversion, has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop a small electronic fuel injection system for unmanned air, ground and maritime propulsion systems that are small and lightweight.

The U.S. Department of Defense needs small engines that are lightweight, reliable, durable, fuel-efficient, and low cost for many applications. Some of these applications include providing propulsion and power generation for small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned ground systems (UGS), and unmanned maritime system (UMS), with power requirements on the order of 10 hp. Engines of this size require smaller components that are not always commercially available, such as ignition systems, fuel injectors, and fuel pumps.

The objective of this program is to develop an electronic fuel injection system that can be used in small heavy-fuel engines that are being developed by the Air Force, Navy, and Army. Electronic fuel injection allows for precise and variable fuel metering, which enables the injection system to be optimized for different operating conditions, such as high fuel economy, low noise, or low emissions. At the end of Phase I, Mainstream will have completed a detailed design of the novel electronic fuel injection systems and bench-top testing of the key technologies. When Phase II is completed, Mainstream will deliver a prototype system that can be integrated into a wide number of small, heavy-fuel engines.