NASA STTR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 T8.02-9917
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Component Development for Deep Throttling Space Propulsion Engines
PROPOSAL TITLE: Turbopump Design for Deep Throttling Capability

NAME: Barber-Nichols Inc. NAME: University of Alabama in Huntsville
STREET: 6325 West 55th STREET: 301 Sparkman Drive
CITY: Arvada CITY: Huntsville
STATE/ZIP: CO  80002 - 2777 STATE/ZIP: AL  35899 - 0001
PHONE: (303) 421-8111 PHONE: (256) 824-6000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Madhan Bala

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 1 to 2

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A rocket engine turbopump design using a partial emission pump combined with a zero net positive suction pressure inducer design is proposed to achieve a robust, deep throttling capability in 5k to 15k lbf thrust range rocket engines. A partial emission pump can provide better low-flow/thrust stability at a better efficiency than full emission pumps in this throttle range. A zero net positive suction pressure inducer will be able to perform with boiling flow at the inlet and at low flow conditions. This will enable deep throttling as well as restarts with minimal turbopump/engine thermal conditioning.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial applications include pumps that can handle boiling fluids, both cryogenic and light hydrocarbons used in chemical process industries. These applications involve circulating pumps in multiple distillation columns where the NPSH can be one foot or less.

The impeller and inducer design can be applied to commercial cryogenic pump applications for liquid helium or liquid hydrogen systems.

The turbopump design can be used with cryogenic liquid rocket engines developed for space tourism vehicles.

The turbopump design can be used for high speed, low suction head, light-weight scram jet fuel pumping and hydraulic actuation of control surfaces.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Advancement in space exploration necessitates deep throttling of liquid cryogenic rocket engines. Both Lunar and Martian robotic and human exploration require engines that can be deep throttled, can start and restart, have a long life and require minimal maintenance1. An engine capable of low thrust levels, versatile enough to accommodate multiple applications would advance the state-of-the-art and enable NASA to meet space exploration objectives. An advanced turbopump design is an enabling technology for developing the required engine in support of future NASA missions.

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.

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