NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-1 H2.01-9448
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Fluid Management Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Speed Compressor for Subcooling Propellants

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Barber-Nichols, Inc.
6325 West 55th
Arvada, CO 80002 - 2707
(303) 421-8111

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jason Preuss
6325 West 55th Ave.
Arvada, CO 80002 - 2707
(303) 421-8111

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeff Shull
6325 West 55th Ave.
Arvada, CO 80002 - 2707
(303) 421-8111

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Cryogenic Fluid Management Technologies is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Propellant densification systems for LH2 require compression systems that develop significant head. In the past this has required multiple stages of compressors running at high speed on grease-packed ball bearings with very limited life, large heat leak and questionable rotordynamic stability. This project will utilize foil bearings with an innovative feature that will greatly increase bearing life/rotordynamic stability, drastically reduce number of stages and cost while increasing efficiency.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The potential applications for this technology at NASA are widespread. In addition to propellant densification for use in liquid rocket engines at launch, there are also applications that involve long term in-space storage of the propellants to be used on vehicles over months or years. By subcooling the propellant it drastically reduces boil-off of the cryogens over time and thus improves storage life. The applications include on-vehicle propellant storage for long range mission and propellant depots that are planned for space. This technology also makes sense for rocket engine turbopumps. LOX and LH2 turbopumps utilizing these bearings could greatly increase life over the ball bearings currently used which will be especially appealing for the long range missions planned for the future.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Numerous private companies are building pump fed rocket engines that could utilize this technology in turbopumps. BNI has also built grease-packed ball bearing cryogenic H2 circulators for neutron sources and flux reactors at facilities around the world. In each of these applications longer bearing life along with the possibility of attaining even higher speeds are seriously needed. There are also numerous applications involving cryogenic H2, He or CH4 expanders and compressors in superconducting magnet cooling and refrigeration that could greatly benefit from this technology.

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 03-28-13 15:21