NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 A2.01-9890
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Materials and Structures for Future Aircraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low Cost Method of Manufacturing Cooled Axisymmetric Scramjets

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
4718 B Street NW, Suite 104
Auburn, WA 98001 - 1750
(253) 854-0796

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Daniel Alberts
4718 B Street NW, Suite 104
Auburn, WA 98001 - 1750
(253) 854-0796

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 2 to 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Scramjet engine developers are working on advanced axisymmetric engine concepts that may not be feasible due to limitations of currently available manufacturing methods. The primary goal of this SBIR is to make available a new technology that will make it feasible to manufacture small diameter one-piece cooled axisymmetric scramjet combustors.
The availability of the proposed technology will result in scramjet program cost savings and engine design improvements and a strong near term technology commercialization is likely. In fact, scramjet developers have expressed that there is no other known means of manufacturing some of the most desired axisymmetric combustor designs.
Although Ormond, LLC currently manufactures scramjet engine panels using a novel abrasivejet machining process and software that is available nowhere else in industry, new engine developments have created the need for key technology advancements.
A principal advantage of the proposed technology is that it can generate small high-aspect-ratio channels in nearly any material, and is now used to machine the complex cooling flow field patterns found in the Inconel scramjet heat exchanger circuits. There are technical and economic benefits over all of the existing manufacturing methods because it is a cold, non-chemical low-mechanical load process that has no affect on workpiece material crystal structure.
Developments that will be made under this SBIR are: 1.) miniaturization of the specialized cutting head to fit in the axisymmetric combustor, 2.) development of a new numerical model and software needed to implement the process, and 3.) development of an appropriate long reach manipulator arm and control software to provide appropriate tool motion in the combustor cylinder. The Phase I program will initiate the development and demonstrate feasibility of the proposed technology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Scramjets: Commercialization of the technology developed in this program has a huge economic value when the scramjet application is looked at alone. It is projected that scramjet engines will be manufactured for 300 missiles per year and 3 reusable launch vehicles per year once production starts. ABMACH is already considered to be the baseline manufacturing method for scramjet panels by a major prime because it was found to be the only cost effective technology available.
Channel Wall Combustors: Channel wall liquid rocket combustors will benefit from the successful completion of the proposed SBIR. Engine developers have asked Ormond to mill channels from the inside of the combustor, but the capability does not currently exist. This application has requirements very similar to the axisymmetric scramjet. Adaptation of the proposed technology to manufacture channel wall rocket combustors can have a huge impact on the economic and technical success in implementing channel wall combustor technology. A principal advantage is that it can economically generate geometries that are not possible by other methods. The global market estimate for rocket propulsion systems over the next ten years is $4 billion/year. The domestic market represents half of this. The cost of manufacturing the channel combustor accounts for a significant fraction of the propulsion system cost and the technology developed in this program addresses the market directly.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Ground based turbine engine transition ducts are consumable high-temperature heat exchangers used in power generating gas turbines. Currently, over 90% of electric power in the world is produced using gas turbines. In one Westinghouse design, 16 transition duct pairs are used per turbine. ABMACH reduces the manufacturing cost by nearly 70%, resulting in $10M in savings per year. Ormond is currently working under funding by ground turbine manufacturers to evaluate implementing ABMACH in the manufacture of these components.
Ormond is currently working with a major down-hole energy company to develop tooling with internal features machined into integral cases. The development of the proposed technology will support this proprietary effort directly by making available a means of machining features in tubular components made from tough materials.

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
Launch Assist (Electromagnetic, Hot Gas and Pneumatic)

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