NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X9.03-9640
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic and Non-Toxic Storable Propellant Space Engines
PROPOSAL TITLE: Nitrous Oxide Fuel Blend-Continuous Operation Lunar Thruster (NOFB-COLT)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
557 Burbank St., Unit J
Broomfield, CO 80020 - 7160
(303) 439-2698

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David J Fisher
557 Burbank Street, Unit J
Broomfield, CO 80020 - 7160
(303) 439-2698

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose conducting further development for a Nitrous Oxide Fuel Blend (NOFB) propulsion system. Phase I activities will concentrate on a revising a previous 5 lbf thruster to facilitate continuous operation with repeated restart. The thruster will utilize a novel new NOFB monopropellant. NOFB series monopropellant formulations have the following characteristics: 1) Non-toxic and readily manufacturable; 2) Vacuum specific impulse of 310+s (compared to monopropellant hydrazine's 235s); 3) Space-storable with wide temperature storage limits from <-77 C to >100 C; 4) High storage density at equivalent to twice as dense as monopropellant hydrazine depending on temperature; 5) Potentially highly throttleable due to very fast reaction kinetics; and 6) Self-pressurizing thereby simplifying the overall feed system architecture and reliability. Due to these desirable characteristics of NOFB monopropellants, Phase I funding is requested from the NASA SBIR program.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Increasingly demanding in-space propulsion requirements will benefit from NOFB monopropellants. Lunar launders require high Isp rocket propulsion. By utilizing NOFB monopropellants, the mass associated with bipropellant system hardware can be eliminated without a significant decrease in Isp performance. Additionally, the limiting factor on many satellite's life is their propellant reserves. By increasing the Isp from hydrazine's ~230 s to NOFB3's ~310 s, greater total impulse can be achieved with the same mass as legacy propulsion systems. This will serve to either lengthen the life of a satellite, facilitate greater non-propulsion system payload, or a combination of both.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial spacecraft will also benefit from the increased performance of NOFB monopropellants. Launching satellites is an expensive endeavor. To maximize the cost/benefit ratio, extended satellite life is very attractive. Because our monopropellants have >30% improvements in specific impulse performance, a satellite's life can be extended without requiring larger and more expensive launch vehicles. The private sector can achieve longer satellite life without increased expenditures or decreased payload capabilities.

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.

Aircraft Engines
Feed System Components
Propellant Storage

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50