Pioneer Astronautics – Facilities Overview

Pioneer Astronautics (formerly Pioneer Invention) was formed in January 1996 for the purpose of exploring new technologies that have the potential to advance the nation’s space program. Pioneer Astronauticsí office and laboratory is located at 11111 W. 8th Avenue, Unit A, Lakewood, CO 80215. The office contains approximately 2000 square feet of floor space and is equipped with high-speed networked computers. Software used to support projects includes graphical and CAD programs, launch simulation, rocket specific impulse calculation, engine system analysis, chemistry, chemical engineering, balloon simulation, and computational fluid dynamics codes as well as word processing and spreadsheet programs. Technical information resources are available nearby in the extensive library systems of the University of Colorado, the Colorado School of Mines, the Jefferson County library system and the City of Denver library system to supplement the extensive technical libraries of the Pioneer Astronautics office, those of its personnel, and on-line resources.

The laboratory contains approximately 2500 square feet of space and is equipped with state-of-the-art LabVIEW based data acquisition and control systems. The Pioneer Astronautics laboratory has fully instrumented capabilities to perform high-pressure tank tests and numerous chemistry experiments, to conduct small rocket engine tests, and to support development of complex chemical process systems. The laboratory area also has an on-site machine shop, including a mill, lathes, band saw, and drill press, as well as welding capabilities to support manufacturing of test article/facility equipment. It also is equipped with 300-liter and 1 cubic meter vacuum chambers along with smaller research vacuum systems. Adjacent to the laboratory, Pioneer has built a reinforced concrete rocket engine test cell, which is outfitted with remote video, data acquisition, and control systems. Gas chromatographs are used to support process development through analysis of a wide range of gases and liquids. A variety of additional mechanical and chemical test and analysis capabilities are used to support Pioneerís projects. Nearby facilities, with which Pioneer has established relationships, can provide analyses and support as needed on a timely basis to supplement in-house capabilities.