NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Transportation Propulsion System and Test Facility Requirements and Instrumentation
PROPOSAL TITLE:Fiber Optic Mass Flow Gauge for Liquid Cryogenic Fuel Facilities Monitoring and Control

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Lake Shore Cryotronics, Inc.
575 McCorkle Blvd.
Westerville, OH 43082-8699
(614) 891-2243

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Philip R. Swinehart
575 McCorkle Blvd.
Westerville, OH  43082-8699
(614) 891-2243

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This SBIR Phase I proposal describes a fiber optic mass flow gauge that will aid in managing liquid hydrogen and oxygen fuel storage and transport. The increasing use of hydrogen as a fuel places the safety of facilities and personnel at the forefront of concern, making an explosion proof fiber optic system a desirable option. Further, the actual available fuel can depart significantly from the expected quantity due to variable boil-off and leak rates and inaccurate measurements. Measurement accuracy can be complicated by low gravity, stratification of the liquid density and temperature, the presence of a gas phase, the wetting of tank surfaces by the liquid and the lack of suitable sensors and instruments. The Phase II objective is to deliver a prototype that will withstand the high pressures and flow rates at liquid hydrogen and oxygen temperatures demanded by rocket propulsion systems.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA applications for an all-fiber optic mass fuel flow gauge include managing liquid hydrogen, oxygen and other fuels in ground storage and transport, and potentially during launch. Aircraft and unmanned autonomous vehicles are also potential application areas for light weight, fly-by-light instrumentation. The same technology can be extended to temperature, pressure, vibration, liquid fuel level and strain measurements for structural health monitoring.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA applications include spaceport fueling systems and launches by European, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Brazilian space programs. Liquid hydrogen may be used in some stages of future clean energy production. These sensor systems can be used in any application in which free liquid hydrogen, oxygen or liquid natural gas custody is transferred. Civilian and military aircraft fuel flow and totalization will become important uses.

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.

Energy Storage
Feed System Components
Fluid Storage and Handling
Propellant Storage
Spaceport Infrastructure and Safety

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19