NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 03- II A4.03-8040
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lightweight Propulsion Components
PROPOSAL TITLE: Actively Cooled Ceramic Composite Nozzle Material

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stuart Schwab
stschwab@thortech.biz
2415 Princeton NE, Suite B
Albuquerque, NM 87107-1731
(505)830-6986
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The Phase I Project demonstrated the capability of the Pyrowave? manufacturing process to produce fiber-reinforced ceramics (FRCs) with integral metal features, such as attachment lugs or tubes. In addition, the Phase I Project demonstrated the utility of thermography as a simple, rapid, and inexpensive inspection tool.
With the increased emphasis on the exploration of space, technologies supporting fission-powered spacecraft, such as those under development through Project Prometheus, will become increasingly important. For the Phase II Project, Thor Technologies, Inc. will team with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), a computational design firm, a small NDE firm, and a major spacecraft OEM to design, manufacture, and deliver a prototype lightweight, high performance thermal radiator component for fission powered spacecraft, such as the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter.
The project team has the experience and capability to execute the proposed development plan within the Phase II budget and schedule. The proposed technology will simplify the design and facilitate the utilization of fission-powered, which are essential to the exploration celestial bodies more distant from the Sun than Mars.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
A wide range of civilian applications exist for ceramic composites; however, difficulties inherent to attaching ceramic composites to supporting metal structures and the lack of a simple rapid inspection technique have hampered their adoption. Both issues are addressed in the proposed Phase II. Potential civilian applications for hybrid metal/ceramic composites include hot-section components in gas turbine engines and diesel engines, friction materials for aircraft, corrosion resistant chemical process equipment, and low-activation components for nuclear reactors.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
In addition to thermal radiators for fission-powered spacecraft, a variety of potential NASA applications exist, including in-space propulsion, satellite station keeping propulsion, and space launch propulsion. Other applications are certain to emerge as the technology needed for the Crew Transport Vehicle and other systems, as well as missions to the moon and Mars, become more clearly defined.