NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 X10.01-8524
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Fluid Management Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Novel Flow Measurement System for Cryogenic Two-Phase Flow

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
En'Urga Inc
1291-A Cumberland Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47906 - 1317
(765) 497-3269

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ye Mi
1291-A Cumberland Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47906 - 1317
(765) 497-3269

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Flow rate measurements for cryogenic propellants are required for spacecraft and space exploration systems. Such a requirement has been hampered by lack of fast and accurate instruments among existing technologies. This proposed project will develop a mass flow measurement system for non-conducting cryogenic propellant flow to meet the NASA's need. In the proposed system, an electromagnetic flowmeter for insulating fluids (EMFIF) will be able to provide real-time liquid velocity information under single- and two-phase flow conditions, and an X-ray void fraction sensor will provide phase concentration and interfacial velocity information. The X-ray sensor will also be able to detect bubble existence in cryogenic propellant flow. The whole proposed system will be a useful instrument to measure propellant flowrate in rocket engine feed lines.

During the Phase I project, a test model of the proposal measurement technique will be designed and built. The performance of the proposed flowmeter will be studied in an experimental cross-calibration. If the Phase I study shows that it is feasible to employ the flowmeter for single/two-phase flow, the Phase II development towards engineering design and verification of the system will be carried out.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Reliable and accurate cryogenic propellant instrumentation is needed in-space, on the lunar surface, and on the earth. The proposed development will ensure reliable flow measurements for rocket engine feed lines in NASA spacecrafts. The proposed electromagnetic flowmeter can also be used to significantly enhance the flow monitoring and control of space exploration systems including propellant management and acquisition, nuclear power conversion and propulsion, thermal management, bio-fluids and life support systems. In addition, the flowmeter will be applicable to NASA's ground tests, commercial space systems, and defense aviation systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Accurate flow measurements are required by many civil engineering practices in chemical, petroleum, biomedical, automotive and nuclear industries. In these industries, accurate identification and characterization of two-phase turbulent flows within pipes are essential to improve process quality. Although a great deal of flowmeters have been developed and are commercially available, the non-intrusive capacitance-based electromagnetic flowmeter is very competitive and will be among the best choices for measuring electrically non-conducting fluids.

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.)
Process Monitoring & Control

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43