NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X8.03-8690
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Nuclear Power Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Intercooled Turbo-Brayton Power Converter for Spaceflight Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Creare, Inc.
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 643-3800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeffrey J. Breedlove
Creare Incorporated, 16 Great Hollow Road, PO Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 643-3800 Extension :2442

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Future NASA space missions require advanced systems to convert thermal energy into electric power. These systems must be reliable, efficient, and lightweight. In response, we propose to develop an intercooled turbo-Brayton power converter with high efficiency and specific power. The converter will use gas bearings to provide reliable, maintenance-free, long-life operation. It will also consist of discrete components that can be packaged to fit optimally with other subsystems, and its continuous gas flow can communicate directly with remote heat sources and heat rejection surfaces without ancillary heat transfer components and intermediate flow loops. Creare is well suited to succeed because we have a long history of developing advanced turbomachines, heat exchangers, and Brayton systems for challenging spaceflight applications. We will complete design analyses, trade studies, fabrication trials, and preliminary designs for the components and converter assembly during Phase I, followed by fabrication and testing of a breadboard converter during Phase II.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are many potential NASA applications for our converter technology. The converter can be sized for coupling with radioisotope heat sources to support low-power devices such as space exploration probes and unmanned surface rovers. Our converter can also be sized for significantly greater power levels and coupled with a nuclear reactor to support larger spacecraft as well as manned exploration of the lunar and Martian surfaces. Other applications include nuclear electric propulsion and space station power systems. Alternative heat sources include concentrated solar radiation.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Terrestrial versions of our converter can be used to produce electric power for military and civilian applications. These converters would be coupled with non-nuclear heat sources such as fossil fuel combustion, biofuel combustion, refuse burning, and concentrated solar energy. The resulting systems can be applied wherever electric generators are currently used. They will be particularly attractive for mobile applications because they have high specific power. Their hermetic, closed-loop configuration will also make them desirable in environments that have contaminants such as sand, dirt, and dust, and in environments that are exposed to corrosive substances such as sea water.

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.)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12