NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 X2.04-9772
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Propellant Depots
PROPOSAL TITLE: Zero Boil Off System for Cryogen Storage

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Atlas Scientific
1367 Camino Robles Way
San Jose, CA 95120-4925
(408)507-0906

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James Maddocks
Maddocks@cae.wisc.edu
1415 Engineering Drive, Rm. 1339-A
Madison, WI 53706-1607
(608)265-4246

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
This work proposes to develop a zero boil off (ZBO) dewar using a two-stage pulse-tube cooler together with two innovative, continuous-flow cooling loops and an actively cooled shield. While a number of cryogenic refrigeration systems may be considered for such applications, none offers the same potential for low vibration, high reliability, and high efficiency as the pulse tube. The continuous-flow cooling loops are made possible by the presence of rectifying interfaces that convert the oscillating flow of the pulse-tube cryocooler into a steady flow of cold refrigerant gas that can readily be distributed throughout the volume of the dewar or over the surface of a shield, without need for a separate circulating pump.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The proposed dewar is well suited to many future NASA missions involving the transportation or in-situ liquefaction of cryogens. For example, the manned Mars missions will require the capability to store seed hydrogen, as well as, liquid oxygen and liquid methane for substantial periods of time. To accomplish this, a small lightweight cryocooler mounted on the storage vessel that is capable of sub-cooling the liquid, intercepting parasitic heat leaks, and re-liquefying vapor will be required. Terrestrial applications include, cryogenic propellant preservation for Space Shuttle power systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
There are numerous terrestrial applications for zero boil off technology, including liquid preservation in MRI magnets and cellular telephone base stations.