NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X2.01-9105
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Earth-to-Orbit Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE: Free-Surface Modeling of Cryogenic Fluids Using a Higher-Order, Unstructured Grid Volume-of-Fluid (VOF) Method

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
CFD Research Corporation
215 Wynn Drive, 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 1944
(256) 726-4800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Sarma L. Rani
215 Wynn Drive, 5th Floor
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)
Accurate and efficient computational modeling of free-surface flows has numerous applications of current and future relevance to NASA. At present, NASA engineers use several commercial codes for modeling cryogenic fluids. However, the free surface modeling technologies in these codes need improvements for better solution accuracy, and most are not scalable for highly parallel simulations. In this SBIR project, CFDRC and Streamline Numerics will develop and implement, in Loci-STREAM, an innovative and improved VOF methodology with the following advanced features: (1) Ability to handle triangle and quadrilateral cell types in 2-D, and tetrahedron and hexahedron cell types in 3-D; (2) Spatially second-order surface reconstruction for these cell-types; (3) Hybrid implicit-explicit time integration scheme that both maintains a sharp interface and allows realistic time-steps for the overall flow solver; and (4) Highly efficient parallelization with scalability to 1000s of processors. To demonstrate feasibility in Phase I, a previously developed 2-D stand-alone VOF module will be coupled to Loci-STREAM and validated. In Phase II, 3-D VOF capability will be developed and integrated with Loci-STREAM. An innovative multi-timescale algorithm that affords significantly larger time steps than standard VOF will also be implemented. Final demonstration of the software will be performed for practical cases to be decided in discussions with NASA/MSFC personnel.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed VOF module in Loci-STREAM will enable NASA and government contractors to better analyze and design liquid rocket engines. These applications include: (1) Sloshing of liquid fuels in fuel tanks; (2) Extrapolation of slosh experiments to cryogenic fluids; (3) Propellant tank stage separation dynamics; (4) Design of anti-vortex baffles; (5) Thrust oscillation impact on the upper stage ullage collapse; (6) Water pooling dynamics associated with launch pad environments mitigation using water deluge; (7) Propellant tank pre-pressurization, re-pressurization and self-pressurization processes, and many others. The software will help achieve better Cryogenic Fluid Management (CFM), which is an integral part of exploration systems for Earth-to-Orbit Transportation, in-space fuel depots, planetary exploration missions, and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed computational tool will be of direct use to NASA's current and potential OEM contractors for liquid rocket engines (Pratt & Whitney-Rocketdyne, ATK-Thiokol, AMPAC-ISP, Aerojet, and others). It will also be beneficial to gas turbine engine and diesel engine manufacturers, and has applications in fuel injector design for power plants and in industrial boilers/burners. The tool will also be relevant to chemical industry applications involving flows with phase change, phase separation, and heat and mass transfer. Improved Cryogenic Fluid Management (CFM) can also play a key role in infrared and x-ray astronomy, and biological sciences.

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

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12