NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 X10.01-8575
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Fluid Management Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Reliable Actuator for Cryo Propellant Fluid Control

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dynamic Structures and Materials, LLC
205 Williamson Square
Franklin, TN 37064 - 1307
(615) 595-6665

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeffrey Paine
205 Williamson Square
Franklin, TN 37064 - 1307
(615) 595-6665 Extension :102

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Cryogenic fluid handling applications require a reliable actuation technology that can handle very low temperatures. A novel EM hammer drive technology is proposed for use in cryo-propellant fuel storage and regulation valves/devices. In addition to high force, the new drive technology offers potential advantages for miniaturization, reduction of heat load, and lower cost as compared to traditional electromagnetic actuators. Dynamic Structures and Materials (DSM) proposes to focus the Phase I innovation on the development of a hammer drive actuation mechanism that will take the EM oscillatory power and produce continuous linear motion for operation at cryogenic and extreme environments. DSM has already demonstrated operation of its high force linear motor actuators at temperatures down to 77 K. The proposed actuator should operate from approximately 4 K to 400 K and should provide very low or no outgassing as well as operational capabilities in hard vacuum. The technology is proposed for applications in the cryo fluid management, pressure and flow control, and driving operational equipment and instruments. This proposal addresses DSM's approach to the development of flight-scalable demonstration components for the EM hammer drive technology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
DSM has received interest from NASA regarding actuators for cryogenic applications and for others that do not require low temperature capability. Many non-cryogenic uses require a wider temperature range than laboratory environment, so some of the proposed work would be useful for these purposes, as well. Many inquiries are related to the regulation of fluid flow or pressure. Thruster valves used in highly miniaturized satellites have received significant attention. Flow and pressure control of cryogenic propellants such as LOX for propulsion is also an area of interest. As the technology is more fully developed, it will be practical to pursue applications requiring more force. Interest has been expressed in an actuator for a 1-inch and 2 inch cryo-isolation valve that will require over 150 pounds of output force. There are many cryo and non-cryo valve applications that can potentially be addressed by this technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The most direct applications outside NASA are other aerospace projects that require actuators to operate valves for cryogenic fluid handling. ESA and major US defense contractors have previously tested systems that used piezoelectric actuators from DSM. It is reasonable to assume that once the new technology reaches a readiness level that is acceptable for NASA, other aerospace entities will have similar interest in using it for their programs. The US Air Force has expressed interest in very low temperature, high force actuators for use in their low Earth orbit simulation chambers at Arnold Engineering Development Center. More broadly, some commercial applications related to materials evaluation and inspection need positioning at very low temperature and could benefit from this research.

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.)
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43