NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 X2.02-9213
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Nuclear Power Generation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lightweight Radiator Fins for Space Nuclear Power

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Energy Science Laboratories, Inc.
6888 Nancy Ridge Drive
San Diego, CA 92121-2232
(858)552-2032

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Timothy R Knowles
tknowles@esli.com
6888 Nancy Ridge Drive
San Diego, CA 92121-2232
(858)552-2034

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This SBIR Phase 1 project shall investigate concept radiator fins that incorporate novel carbon materials for improved performance of segmented high temperature space radiator systems based on heat pipes with attached radiator fins. The novel carbon materials apply to improvements in several critical features: thermal emissivity, in-plane conductivity, fin stiffness, fin/pipe thermal interface, and lightweight shielding against micrometeorites.
Phase 1 will obtain system requirements from a prime contractor for nuclear space power, and assess the potential benefits compared with current baseline materials. A small carbon radiator fin component will be fabricated and integrated with a relevant pipe to demonstrate the materials concepts.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Lightweight carbon radiator fins have primary application to future high temperature space nuclear power systems. Lightweight shielding for human and robotic mission is a potential spin-off of this development.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Lightweight carbon radiator fins can also save weight and increase performance of spacecraft operating at lower temperatures. High conductance vacuum interfacing (for vacuum materials processing) is a potential commercial spin-off of this development.