NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 X12.02-8217
PROPOSAL TITLE:Effervescent Fine Water Mist Fire Extinguisher for Microgravity Environments

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ADA Technologies, Inc.
8100 Shaffer Parkway, Suite 130
Littleton ,CO 80127 - 4107
(303) 792 - 5615

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James R Butz
8100 Shaffer Parkway, Suite 130
Littleton , CO  80127 -4107
(303) 792 - 5615

Fire suppression systems provide an essential safety function onboard spacecraft. The transition away from halon-based systems has presented an opportunity for efficient and cost-effective alternative approaches. ADA Technologies proposes to develop a fine-water-mist fire suppression system suitable for use in microgravity. The ADA design features a single pressure tank with a patented effervescent-gas spray nozzle to generate droplets of a size that is optimum for fire suppression. The proposed work will modify ADA's current fine-water-mist device to allow for operation in reduced and micro-gravity environments. Design modifications will focus on providing a uniform mixture of water and atomization gas to the effervescent nozzle. The resulting extinguisher will be compact, simple, and rugged, with pound-per-pound better suppression capability than carbon dioxide fire extinguishers. ADA is teaming with the Colorado School of Mines to employ their expertise in micro-gravity combustion and related fire suppression test facilities. In Phase II, the designs will be refined and upgraded to improve their manufacturability, reduce weight and volume, and lower unit costs. The project team is collaborating with an aviation safety hardware supplier to market the systems to the commercial aircraft industry and is exploring industrial applications.

This novel fire suppression technology has applications to manned spacecraft as well as commercial aircraft, both areas of NASA responsibility. Since the ADA fine-water-mist system is modular, it can be installed in a wide range of aircraft types and sizes, and should be useful in private aircraft as well. Fine-water-mist fire suppression technology has been shown to be effective against a wide range of fire classifications, so that continued development will also offer cost and performance benefits to NASA ground facilities and test operations across the US. In earlier projects at ADA, this technology has proven effective in specialized applications, including extinguishing oxidizer fires and suppression of hydrogen deflagrations, both of which are of interest to NASA.

The loss of halon as a major resource in fire suppression has lead to the development of a number of alternative technologies. Fine-water-mist has been applied to flammable liquid storage, shipboard magazines, and combustion turbine installations in recent years. A modular system such as the ADA design has the potential to fill many niches in fire suppression with an alternative that is cost-effective, efficient, and rugged. Testing at ADA has shown that fine water mist has unique properties that make it ideal for many fire threat scenarios. Under a STTR project, ADA is partnering with the Colorado School of Mines and a supplier of aircraft fire suppression systems to provide protection to the US Air Force for a specialized aircraft. ADA will also apply its commercialization process to this technology to extend it to fire threat scenarios in commercial and industrial markets. An early step in this process is identifying partner firms with an existing presence in target markets and working closely with them to create a quality, cost-effective product to address market needs.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Launch and Flight Vehicle

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12