NASA STTR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 T9.01-9906
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Human and Robotic Space Exploration Propulsion Design and Manufacturing
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced Flow Analysis Tools for Transient Solid Rocket Motor Simulations

NAME: Tetra Research Corporation NAME: Mississippi State University
STREET: 420 Park Avenue West STREET: Engineering Research Center
CITY: Princeton CITY: Mississippi State
STATE/ZIP: IL  61356 - 1934 STATE/ZIP: MS  39762 - 9627
PHONE: (815) 872-0702 PHONE: (662) 325-7397

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Rex Chamberlain
420 Park Avenue West
Princeton, IL 61356 - 1934
(815) 872-0702

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The challenges of designing, developing, and fielding man-rated propulsion systems continue to increase as NASA's mission moves forward with evolving solid propulsion requirements. Recent developments in simulating solid rocket motor environments include Lagrangian particle tracking, particle combustion models, dynamic particle drag and breakup models, and two phase impingement phenomena. These advances are demonstrating success in numerically simulating solid motor environments, but evolutionary innovations leading to more realistic simulations are required. In particular, transient ignition phenomena, such as grain surface heating, initiation of surface reactions, and transition to steady burning, have not yet been addressed. Consideration of these transient flow aspects is extremely important for analyzing ignition delay, pressure buildup, nonuniform grain recession, and overall combustion behavior. Our research will combine existing two phase flow tools for solid motors with a grain heating and ignition model to produce software tools for simulating transient ignition phenomena and the subsequent flow development. These products will ultimately provide NASA with the important capability to simultaneously analyze solid propellant ignition and combustion, heat transfer, and grain burnback within a unified framework. We will demonstrate feasibility using a two phase solid propellant ignition model for a simple grain shape in the TRL range of 3-4.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology will provide NASA with an advanced analysis capability for the prediction of transient two phase flows in solid motors, including ignition phenomena and dynamic surface recession for a wide variety of propellants. Potential enhancements to the these tools include improved droplet/gas interface modeling for better statistical representations of particle laden flows, improved near-wall turbulence modeling, and extended model validation. The proposed methodology for ignition modeling in two phase solid motor flows is also well suited for extensions to additional multi-physics capabilities of commercial interest to NASA, including three dimensional coupled heat transfer within the solid propellant. Our research partner ATK, a leading manufacturer of solid rocket engines for NASA, will help ensure that our research products maximize commercial potential.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The growing trend toward complex multi-phase analyses is opening significant new markets as more difficult problems can be addressed using advanced computational techniques. The ability to analyze more complex solid motor problems will allow industry to speed development of new products and streamline testing. Further enhancements to our modeling system will find application in the aerospace, automotive, environmental, and nuclear industries. The basic architecture of the software will remain the same while new plug-in models are developed to address niche markets. Our research partner ATK, a leading solid motor manufacturer, will help ensure that our research products maximize commercial potential.

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.)
Ablative Propulsion
Analytical Methods
Launch Engine/Booster
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 15:17