NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 X9.01-9440
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Ablative Thermal Protection Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Computational Tool for Coupled Simulation of Nonequilibrium Hypersonic Flows with Ablation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
CFD Research Corp.
215 Wynn Drive, 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 1944
(256) 726-4858

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Sarma Rani
215 Wynn Dr.
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 1944
(256) 726-4850

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The goal of this SBIR project is to develop a predictive computational tool for the aerothermal environment around ablation-cooled hypersonic atmospheric entry vehicles. This tool is based on coupling the relevant physics models to the LeMANS code for hypersonic flows and to the MOPAR code for material response, both developed by the University of Michigan. In Phase I of this project, we developed an efficient, high-fidelity 3-D radiation transfer equation (RTE) solver based on the Modified Differential Approximation (MDA). The MDA method was shown to be accurate over at least three orders of magnitude variation in medium optical thickness, typical in entry hypersonic flows. The coupled LeMANS-radiation code was demonstrated for Stardust and IRV2 configurations, while the coupled LeMANS-MOPAR code was validated for the Passive Nosetip Technology (PANT) experiment [1], successfully establishing feasibility. In Phase II, the primary focus is to advance the flow and ablation modeling capabilities of the LeMANS/MOPAR codes by including innovative models for: (1) Non-equilibrium surface thermochemistry; (2) Non-equilibrium pyrolysis chemistry; and (3) Non-gray, non-equilibrium radiation. All models will be implemented in a modular manner with particular attention paid to their coupling interfaces to facilitate easy coupling to a computational aerothermodynamics code of interest to NASA such as DPLR. The tool will be validated and applied to ablation-cooled re-entry flow problems relevant to NASA such as the Stardust capsule.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Future NASA missions will be more demanding and will require better performing ablative TPS than currently available. The proposed SBIR project will result in a computational tool with unique, comprehensive, and accurate predictive capabilities for ablative TPS performance in hypersonic, non-equilibrium atmospheric entry flows. The tool will find direct application in NASA technology development programs such as the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program, and also in NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Hypersonics (FAH) Project that aims to develop methods, tools and data that enable emergence of highly reliable and efficient hypersonic systems. The tool can also be used to aid in the design and development of next-generation planetary vehicles (such as the Crew Exploration Vehicle, Mars Aerocapture and Mars Sample Return spacecraft) and components of future hypersonic vehicles. The various models comprising the tool will be implemented in an extensible and modular framework that can be ported to other NASA codes (e.g. DPLR) with relative ease.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Technology applications beyond NASA include the Theater and National Missile Defense vehicles performing exo-atmospheric missile intercepts, and missile warhead re-entry applications. The computational tool will also be relevant to the joint DOD/NASA effort called the National Aerospace Initiative (NAI) that involves, among other things, the development of air-breathing hypersonic vehicles. OEMs will also find the tool useful in exploring and designing newer and more robust ablative TPS materials and heat shield systems. The models developed in this SBIR project can also be ported to commercial CFD software such as ATAC, Fluent, CFD-ACE+ and CFD-FASTRAN.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Thermal Insulating Materials

Form Generated on 08-06-10 17:29