University of Texas at El Paso



MIRO cSETR actively conducts fundamental and applied research and education in propulsion and in-situ resource utilization. By developing and advancing bodies of knowledge in ignition physics, combustor technology, fluid properties and the associative processes, the research is applicable to a wide range of aerospace, energy and academic beneficiaries. In-situ resource extraction is also a component and includes investigation of numerous methods, such as thermochemical, combustion-based, and biological means. Computational modeling and analysis compliments the experimental and application portions of the research.

Using advanced diagnostics in fundamental and applied experiments within a varied range of combustor and propellant types, MIRO cSETR has improved combustion, propulsion, and fluid flow systems. MIRO cSETR has progressed from a micropropulsion specialty to larger attitude and descent class thruster research and bodies of knowledge applicable to all areas of propulsion.

The work is accomplished through research grants with federal agencies, national laboratories, affiliate universities and industrial task orders. The propulsion area is complimented by parallel research in combustion, materials and thermal barrier coatings and aerospace structures.

  • Thruster Development
    • Bi-Propellant Micropropulsion (Milli-Newton/Micro-Newton Thrusters)
    • LOX/Hydrocarbon, Hydrogen Peroxide Thrusters
    • Heat Transfer and Thermo-Mechanical Characterization
  • Alternative (Non-Toxic) Propellants
    • LOX/Methane, Kerosene, Ethanol, Hydrogen, Hydrogen Peroxide
    • ISRU
  • Injectors & Igniters
    • Micro-Swirl Injectors
    • Multi-Propellant Injectors
    • Thermal and Spark Igniters for LOX/Hydrocarbon
  • Miniaturized Space Systems
    • Next Generation Divert and Attitude Control Engines
    • Propellant Pressurization
    • Micro-Turbo Pumps, Micro-Nozzles and Flows
  • In-Situ Resource Utilization
    • Chemical Extraction
    • Bioleaching

Energy Systems

MIRO cSETR has a long standing relationship with the Department of Energy and industrial affiliates interested in the improved quantification and analysis of combustion, efficiency and high heat stability. In order to meet the needs of future energy demand, research is being conducted on thermal barrier coatings for higher heat tolerance and improved turbine efficiency. Computational and experimental verification within the laboratories generates data and bodies of knowledge on operability with a mixed composition of fuel, as well as characterization of flashback phenomenon and causes, NOx formation zones, flame parameters and flow fields. The applicability and advancement of these technologies is furthered by corresponding research in advanced materials, thermal barrier coatings, and superior deposition techniques.

  • Low Emission Turbine Combustors
  • Fuel Variability and Flexibility
    • Natural Gas
    • Syngas
  • Swirl and Lean Premixing
  • Flashback and Flame Extinction
  • Thermal Barrier Coatings and Materials
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Fundamental Bodies of Knowledge
    • Oxy-Fuel Combustion
    • Burner Operability
    • Flame Characterization
    • Gas Re-circulation

Aerospace Structures

MIRO cSETR’s aerospace structures arena has a slightly different aspect than the applied and experimental portion of the other areas as it includes active Test and Evaluation. The computational and experimental research capacity exists and is complimented by the ability to accept, execute and report on testing and evaluation of external test articles in a wide arena of materials and mechanical analysis. MIRO cSETR has the in-house ability to perform shear, strain, tensional and other loading evaluation, as well as TEM, SEM and XRD analysis of materials. These capabilities are leveraged to enhance faculties in design of structures, recovery mechanism and reliability analysis.

  • Structural Design, Modeling and Simulation
  • Fluid Structure Interaction
  • Non-Destructive Evaluation
  • Recovery Mechanisms
  • Reliability and Fault Analysis
University of Texas at El Paso
Metallurgy Building
Room M-305
500 W. University Ave.
El Paso, TX 79968-0521

Tel: (915) 747-8252
Fax: (915) 747-5549

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