NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 O3.07-9381
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Fluid Management Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Integrated MLI: Advanced Thermal Insulation for Propellant Storage and Transfer Testbed

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Quest Product Development Corporation
6833 Joyce Street
Arvada, CO 80007 - 7570
(303) 670-5088

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scott A Dye
6833 Joyce St
Arvada, CO 80007 - 7570
(303) 670-5088 Extension :12

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Cryogenic propellants, orbital cryogenic fuel depots and the ability to store, transfer, handle and refuel spacecraft in orbit are critical to NASA future missions beyond Low Earth Orbit. There are numerous new technologies required to achieve needed cryogenic fluid management capabilities allowing future extended spaceflight missions. There are known concerns about the technology readiness of critical cryogenic fluid management (CFM) technologies in micro-gravity. The NASA Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer technology demonstration program is an orbiting laboratory that can investigate CFM technologies in space, and provides an opportunity to advance in-space CFM technologies. The testbed can provide a cost effective means to mature numerous new technologies, flight test and reduce risk for their use in NASA missions. Integrated MultiLayer Insulation (IMLI) is a new next generation thermal insulation offering higher thermal performance, lower mass and a more robust structure than current MLI. IMLI could use a conformal blanket design with IMLI panels and temperature-matched layer panel seaming.

This proposal is for the design, fabrication, testing and evaluation of novel conformal high-performance IMLI thermal insulation blankets for a CRYOTE-like Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer demonstration testbed. A sequence of steps to mature IMLI technology, measure performance in a realistic environment, and plan development of prototypes leading a technology demonstration flight are outlined. Further development of IMLI would aid in the maturing of the passive thermal control aspect of cryogenic fluid management, advancing CFM technologies and reducing risk for future NASA missions and commercial spacecraft, launch vehicles, orbital fuel depots and cryogenic space instruments.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Integrated Multi-Layer Insulation (IMLI) is a next generation MultiLayer Insulation with significant advantages over conventional MLI, and could provide superior thermal insulation for use in NASA spacecraft, launch vehicles, space instruments, space stations, landers and orbiting fuel depots.

IMLI Advantages include:

• 27% better performance per layer than the best conventional MLI
• Fewer layers required for same heat leak as MLI
• IMLI has 67% of the mass of conventional MLI for same number layers
• Robust bonded up structure with layer spacing precisely controlled
• More predictable and repeatable performance
• Seaming technique enables temperature matched layers at seams
• Ability to be installed onto a large cryotank in panels
• Thermal conductance of 0.53 W/m2 achieved (20 layers, 77K 295K)
• Faster vent down and less residual heat load during launch ascent
• 16 to 50% lower fabricated and installed cost than MLI

IMLI has been developed to TRL6 with prototypes tested in a relevant environment. IMLI would benefit from an opportunity for a technology demonstration flight on the "CRYOTE" Propellant Storage and Transfer demonstration testbed, reaching TRL9 and ready for infusion into NASA missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are current spacecraft and instrument thermal insulation needs outside of NASA that would benefit from ultra-high performance Integrated MLI (IMLI). For example, Ball Aerospace currently provides MLI for spacecraft for NASA, DoD and commercial space ventures. The DoD space market is about equal to the NASA and commercial market, or approximately $100M over twenty years.

Quest and Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation (Ball) have an exclusive cross-licensing agreement, whereby Ball has exclusive right to IMLI and derivatives for aerospace application. Ball is a current leading provider of conventional MLI, and as a strategic partner and vendor to space transportation and launch service prime contractors will commercialize IMLI once it is flight qualified. ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and other aerospace vendors have expressed interest in IMLI. Quest has exclusive right to all other (terrestrial) applications.

There are numerous known aerospace applications for IMLI:

• cryogenic propellant insulation for commercial launch vehicle cryogenic upper stages
• cryogenic propellant insulation for large cryotanks storing LOX and LH2 in orbiting fuel depots
• thermal insulation for spacecraft, satellites, space instruments and space stations

The total spacecraft, instruments and cryogenic propulsion insulation needs from NASA and commercial spacecraft is estimated at $3M - $5M per year, and up to $100M over a twenty year span.

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.)
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Passive Systems

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12