NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 X10.01-9015
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic and Non-Toxic Storable Propellant Space Engines
PROPOSAL TITLE: Regeneratively-Cooled, Turbopump-Fed, LOX / Methane Lunar Ascent Engines

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ventions, LLC
1142 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103 - 3914
(415) 543-2800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Adam London
1142 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103 - 3914
(415) 543-2800

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
To-date, the realization of small-scale, high-performance liquid bipropellant rocket engines for lunar and other planetary ascent vehicles has largely been limited by the inability to operate at high chamber pressures in a regeneratively-cooled environment using on-board pumps for pressurization of the propellants. Ventions seeks to fulfill this critical need by using a novel fabrication scheme to realize small-scale thrusters and turbopumps, and proposes to extend its previously-demonstrated technologies (under DARPA and NASA sponsored efforts) to develop a micro-scale turbopump for cryogenic propellants in a lunar ascent vehicle.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed pump concept overcomes a key challenge of providing on-board pressurization for high-performance rocket engines, especially in the micro-scale. Hence, upon eventual integration with complete propulsion systems (thrust chamber, valves / tanks, etc.), it serves as critically-enabling technology for a new generation liquid bipropellant rocket engines in the 1,000-5,000lbf thrust class, with T/W ratios of 150-200, and an Isp of ~355 sec. These engines may be batch-fabricated in a cost-effective manner and modularly stacked to cover a wide range of NASA applications, including lunar ascent / descent missions (precursor rovers, cargo, etc.), Mars sample return missions, nanosat launch vehicles, and Near-Earth-Object missions (sample return, drill reaction for sample implantation, etc.).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA applications for high-performance micro-rocket engines enabled by the proposed pump technology are likely to include commercial / military launch vehicles for low-cost and on-demand access to space for a variety of micro / small satellite payloads, upper stage propulsion for orbit insertion of commercial satellites, and apogee kick motors for orbit circularization of commercial satellites, etc. Additionally, the pump itself is expected to have non-aerospace applications in industrial pumping settings, and as a replacement for other high-pressure liquid pumps.

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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Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14