NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-A4.05-8134 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034873)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Propulsion Test Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE:Multi-Use Non-Intrusive Flow Characterization System (FCS)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orbital Technologies Corp
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison ,WI 53717 - 1961
(608) 827 - 5000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Daniel J.  Gramer
koffarnusl@orbitec.com
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison ,WI  53717 -1961
(608) 827 - 5000
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The innovation is a Multi-Use Non-Intrusive Flow Characterization System (FCS) for densified, normal boiling point, and two-phase cryogenic flows, capable of accurately measuring several fluid parameters in real-time. Cryogenic fluids are ubiquitous in the aerospace industry. Their low temperatures inherently promote heat transfer from the ambient environment which often results in two-phase flows that cannot be adequately characterized by existing instrumentation. FCS was originated to address this issue and greatly enhance the quantification, reliability, safety, and autonomous operations of propulsion test operations. FCS handles both transient and steady state flows, and is anticipated to have a fast response time. The technology can non-intrusively operate in the following five modes: 1) on-line analysis of fluid mixtures; 2) mass flow rate measurement; 3) temperature measurement; 4) fluid conditioning and health monitoring; and 5) model validation for a cryogenic or non-cryogenic fluid flow. Phase I has been structured to provide design, analytical, experimental, and data analysis groundwork toward the successful development of the proposed technology, including the characterization of high pressure LOX flows. The Phase II program will produce a prototype commercial FCS System for delivery to NASA Stennis Space Center, and use at several other NASA centers and commercial facilities.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Accurate, non-intrusive cryogenic flow sensors have been highly sought after for decades. There is a fundamental need for measurement of densified, normal boiling point, and two-phase cyrogenic flows for ground based, space, and ISRU applications. There are several NASA facilities and programs at SSC, KSC, GRC, MSFC, JSC, and JPL that could benefit from successful development of FCS where it could find application in: ground based flow metering and control, fluid conditioning and health monitoring, analytical model validation, applied fluid physics and microgravity research, in-space cryogenic fluid management and mass quantity gauging, and planetary operations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
There is a large market for an accurate, non-intrusive cryogenic flow sensor capable of handling a wide variety of flows. Commercial aerospace companies and DoD have similar FCS applications requirements to NASA, including: ground-based flow metering and control, fluid conditioning and health monitoring, analytical model validation, applied fluid physics and microgravity research, in-space cryogenic fluid management and in-space mass quantity gauging. Outside of the aerospace community, FCS has commercial potential in the paper, refrigeration, cryogenics, automotive and many other industries. Examples of FCS applications include: determining when a system has been sufficiently chilled down; measuring and diagnosing heat leaks into fluid flow networks; and accurate metering and controlled delivery.