NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S1.07-9309
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Systems for Sensors and Detectors
PROPOSAL TITLE: Integrated Circulator for Regenerative Cryocoolers

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Atlas Scientific
1367 Camino Robles Way
San Jose, CA 95120 - 4925
(408) 507-0906

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James R Maddocks
1415 Engineering Drive, Rm 1339A
Madison, WI 53706 - 1607
(608) 265-4246

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Future instruments and platforms for NASA space applications will require increasingly sophisticated thermal control technology, and cryogenic applications will become increasingly more common. For example, the Single Aperture Far-IR (SAFIR) telescope and other cryogenic telescope missions must provide distributed cooling and multiple heat lift. Also, the management of cryogenic propellants requires distributed cooling through integrated heat exchangers for zero boil-off, densification and cooling of structural members. To address these requirements, we propose to develop a lightweight, continuous-flow cooling loop that can provide cooling and temperature control to multiple, distributed loads. This approach allows relatively simple mechanical and electrical integration and maintains high refrigeration system efficiency. The basis of the loop is a rectifying interface that converts the oscillating pressure that characterizes the operation of a regenerative cryocooler into a quasi-steady pressure difference that can be used to drive a continuous flow of cold gas over distances of several meters. The rectifying interface has the potential secondary benefit of rapid and therefore precise load temperature regulation of multiple sensors or structures using actively controlled throttle valves to regulate the local gas flow.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are many potential NASA applications for the rectified cooling loop, including cooling large deployable telescopes and multiple distributed loads such as CCD cameras. A prime example is the use of the PT/RCL to provide active shielding and re-liquefaction for zero-boil-off (ZBO) dewars. For example, the manned Mars mission, which requires the in-situ manufacture of propellant, will require the capability to store seed hydrogen, as well as, liquid oxygen and liquid methane for substantial periods of time. NASA also has terrestrial applications for zero-boil-off technology, including cryogenic propellant preservation for Space Shuttle power systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are numerous potential commercial applications for zero-boil-off technology. It has been pointed out, that ZBO would be advantageous for systems used to cool superconducting power lines, superconducting magnets for power generation and energy storage, high temperature superconducting filters for cellular telephone base stations, and MRI magnets and SQUID magnetometers for heart and brain studies. In each of these applications, cryocooler reliability is an issue. Using a system cooled by a ZBO dewar addresses the reliability issue by ensuring that cooling liquid is always present. In the event of a cooler failure, the stored liquid provides a buffer i.e., a period of time during which the cooler may be repaired, or at worst the dewar refilled. It seems, then, that there exists a large potential market for ZBO technology and hence the PT/RCL proposed here

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.

Fluid Storage and Handling
Propellant Storage

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56