NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X2.05-9375
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Fire Protection
PROPOSAL TITLE: Test of Advanced Fine Water Mist Nozzles in a Representative Spacecraft Atmosphere

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ADA Technologies, Inc.
8100 Shaffer Parkway, Suite 130
Littleton , CO 80127 - 4107
(303) 792-5615

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James R Butz
8100 Shaffer Parkway, Suite 130
Littleton , CO 80127 - 4107
(303) 874-8276

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Fine water mist is being considered as a replacement technology for fire suppression on the next generation of manned spacecraft. It offers advantages in performance, ease of cleanup, compatibility with on-board environmental systems, and ability to recharge during a mission. ADA Technologies has designed a prototype hand-held extinguisher that is being tested at ambient environmental conditions.

In this SBIR program ADA Technologies proposes to advance this prototype with a new design for a reduced-momentum nozzle to generate a fine water mist that can be discharged into confined and obstructed spaces to attack hidden fires as well as open fires in manned spacecraft. In Phase I multiple nozzle concepts will be designed, fabricated, and competed to identify the most promising concepts. In addition, we will adapt a vacuum chamber at team member Colorado School of Mines to evaluate the advanced nozzles against fires in an atmosphere of 34% oxygen and 7.6 psia total pressure, representative of the conditions in manned spacecraft. These tests will validate the efficacy of Fine Water Mist at these nonstandard atmospheric conditions. Phase I products will include a comprehensive specification for a beta prototype hand-held FWM extinguisher that incorporates the best advanced reduced momentum nozzle.

In Phase II we will carry the beta prototype design forward to testing in microgravity and develop a plan for flight qualification of the hardware. We will work with a partner experienced in the production and qualification of flight test fixtures and experiments. ADA will partner with a commercial supplier of fire protection equipment to take this technology into the broader commercial marketplace, targeting aerospace and flammable fuels storage as early market segments.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Fine Water Mist is a versatile fire suppression technology ideal for application in manned spacecraft and planetary habitats. It is effective and efficient, with a small mass and volume impact. The ADA prototype design can be operated in any gravity environment, including microgravity, and with the gravity vector in any orientation with respect to the extinguisher. The ADA extinguisher is rechargeable on-station, a key feature for extended lunar and planetary missions. In addition, FWM is fully compatible with spacecraft systems, using only water and nitrogen as agents which offer no adverse impact to human health. ADA has identified two candidate partners to advance our technology through flight qualification to make hardware available for the full next generation of manned spacecraft.

In other configurations, Fine Water Mist Fire Suppression is also useful and effective in a range of applications in NASA facilities and Ground Support Equipment. ADA has designed, built, and tested specialized FWM systems for use in hazardous environments on board US Air Force aircraft, and has worked on conceptual designs for such applications as flammable liquid storage and ground protection of aircraft. We anticipate that Fine Water Mist would prove ideal for many NASA fire protection situations. ADA intends to partner with a commercial supplier of fire suppression equipment to bring this technology to market in the coming years.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Significant market opportunities exist outside the base applications within NASA. ADA will leverage these to create a commercial opportunity that is of significant potential impact to the company while satisfying the NASA need/requirement. Aerospace applications (airlines) constitute one major opportunity. Airplanes are currently equipped with halon extinguishers both automatic and handheld. As noted elsewhere in this proposal, halon is no longer in production and the European Union is mandating its replacement even prior to the depletion of Halon stockpiles. FWM is an excellent candidate for this application as it is very effective, safe for human exposure, and environmentally friendly. ADA's fine water mist system is also a great fit for the needs in vehicle and enclosed space applications. These applications are found in military vehicles, subway trains, tunnels, museums, passenger and merchant ships, hotels, data centers, flammable fuel storage locations and many other places. Overall, this is a several hundred million dollar market opportunity, and will have a positive impact on safety, human health, and the environment. ADA's approach is to partner with companies that have existing products and market share to update their product lines and increase market opportunities. ADA's strong grasp and intellectual property in this emerging technology make us an ideal partner for firms seeking to deploy new and improved products into the fire protection market.

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.

Air Revitalization and Conditioning
Biomedical and Life Support
Testing Facilities

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56