NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S3.04-8407
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Propulsion Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Propulsion Design with Freeform Fabrication

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
DMX Engineering
50 Folsom Pl
Durango, CO 81301 - 4706
(970) 375-9179

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Daudi Barnes
50 Folsom Pl
Durango, CO 81301 - 4706
(970) 375-9179

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Propulsion Design with Freeform Fabrication (PDFF) will develop and implement a novel design methodology that leverages the rapidly evolving Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) manufacturing techniques and materials in the advancement of spacecraft propulsion components development and production. This effort will engender otherwise unproducible designs that significantly improve performance, thermal management, power density, and stability, while reducing thruster development and production costs. The key feature of the SFF technique is the capability to form objects with any geometric complexity without the need for elaborate machine setup or final assembly. The application of SFF to propulsion components requires an evolution of design practice to harmonize material properties with functional efficiency. Using the expertise of propulsion industry analysis, design and development engineers, a new class of design approach will be developed for the enhancement of performance, combustion stability, weight reduction, and increased operating envelope as applied to liquid rocket injectors.
The Phase I effort will establish material requirements specifications for dimension resolution, structural and thermal properties, and propellant compatibility. The various SFF techniques will be assessed to identify strengths and weakness as applied to propulsion component development and production. Assembly, inspection, and quality control requirements will be assessed.
Novel approaches to component sensing and control will be investigated for the feasibility of embedded instrumentation and MEMS during production. The application of fluidics for rocket injection logic will be investigated.
As a technology demonstration for Phase I, a novel, high performance, lightweight injector design for a pulsing attitude class thruster will be developed based on the project's investigation using the latest high-temperature SFF materials.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Using PDFF design and production techniques to manufacture space exploration hardware has direct application to a wide range of current NASA projects. Applications include significant improvements in pulsing attitude class thruster performance, system weight reduction, and thermal management through unique design and materials utilization. The PDFF approach also enhances the propulsion development process through enhanced instrumentation opportunity, and cost and schedule improvements.
Other potential applications are: Higher fidelity lower cost test fixtures for probes and inspection. Disposable thrusters. ISRU for component production in space or on Lunar and Martian missions. And application for embedding MEMS during construction process of form changing aerostructure / dynamic structures.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The SFF industry is one of the top five growing manufacturing industries, providing manufacturing in auto, computer, tooling, aviation, and aerospace. The SFF has served to enable visualization, fit checking, rapid development and art
The potential is wide open for continued development in materials, size, speed, accuracy of SFF techniques which include: Evolution of SFF capabilities from supporting NASA needs. Materials development. Advances in SFF equipment. Multi material production methods, ink jet type build with polymer / ceramics / metallics. Scanning replication of custom human interface devices like masks, chairs, clothing. Advanced biomedical application to human organ reconstruction.
This capability will support development of rocket engines for other Government agencies, i.e. Army and Air Force, or independent rocket engine development programs for commercial use of rockets.

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.

High Energy Propellents (Recombinant Energy & Metallic Hydrogen)
Micro Thrusters
Testing Facilities

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56