NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 H2.03-8602
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP)
PROPOSAL TITLE: Cellular Load Responsive MLI: Structural In-Air and In-Space LH2 Insulation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Quest Thermal Group
6452 Fig Street Unit A
Arvada, CO 80004 - 1060
(303) 395-3100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scott A Dye
scott.dye@questthermal.com
6452 Fig Street Unit A
Arvada, CO 80004 - 1060
(303) 395-3100 Extension :102

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Alan Kopelove
alan.kopelove@questthermal.com
6452 Fig Street Unit A
Arvada, CO 80004 - 1060
(303) 395-3100 Extension :101

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Advanced space propulsion systems are a critical need for future NASA deep space missions. High thrust or high Isp engines could revolutionize space exploration. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion ("NTP") is a high thrust/high Isp propulsion technology, with a demonstrated Isp ~850, twice that of chemical rockets. Zero boil off of LH2 propellant for long duration missions is among the critical technology advancements needed for NTP.

Quest proposes to develop and test an innovative, high performance thermal insulation system, designed to provide high performance on large LH2 tanks. Cellular Load Responsive ("CLR") multilayer insulation integrates a mid-size cryopumping self-evacuating vacuum cell core with load bearing LRMLI within the compartments. CLR can offer a structural, high performance insulation system, that is damage tolerant, can support external loads such as thermal shields, and provides good thermal insulation both in-air (for ground and ascent phases) and in-vacuum (once in-space). CLR could provide 92% lower heat leak in-air during ground hold, and 97% lower heat leak in-space than SOFI.

NASA's Technology Roadmaps call "Zero Boil Off storage of cryogenic propellants for long duration missions" and "Nuclear Thermal Propulsion components and systems" the #2 and #7 ranked technical challenge for future NASA missions.

In this Phase I program, a CLRMLI system would be modeled, analyzed, designed, fabricated, installed on a cryotank, and tested for thermal performance for ground/ascent and in-space operation. CLRMLI could provide a robust SOFI replacement, with higher performance, lower mass, able to eliminate freezing/cryopumping of air components during ground and ascent stages. CLRMLI could help meet NASA's cryogenic fluid management requirements such as Zero Boil Off for cryogenic propellant storage and transfer.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Cellular Load Responsive Multi-Layer Insulation (CLR) could provide a high performance thermal insulation by forming a light-weight vacuum cell layer integrated with load bearing LRMLI insulation layers. Preliminary thermal and structural modeling indicates this system could be a robust SOFI replacement that would offer a strong structural element and provide good thermal performance both in-air during ground and ascent phase operation, and in-space. This thermal insulation system could benefit NASA for both LH2 storage for long duration nuclear thermal propelled vehicles for deep space exploration, as well as cryogenic propellant storage for conventional LH2/LOX chemical propulsion systems.

NASA's Technology Roadmaps call "Zero Boil Off storage of cryogenic propellants for long duration missions" and "Nuclear Thermal Propulsion components and systems" the #2 and #7 ranked technical challenge for future NASA missions.

CLR MLI could provide 92% lower heat flux than current SOFI insulation for in-air use and 97% lower heat flux in-space. CLR might be a preferred thermal insulation for future NASA mission use, with a combination of high thermal performance, good structural strength, operable in both in-air and in-space environments, and it can be engineered for specific mission requirements.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Several aerospace prime contractors have interest in Quest/Ball IMLI and related insulation systems. CLRMLI could significantly improve launch vehicle insulation, reducing cryopropellant boiloff losses and increasing mission capabilities. High performance CLRMLI system can replace SOFI in cryogenic upper stages such as ACES, iCPS and SLS.

Advances in thermal insulation developed for space cryogenics thermal control have relevance to terrestrial industrial applications. Reducing thermal conductivity and heat leak could have significant impact on Earth-based heating and cooling industrial processes and needs, for green energy and high energy efficiency.

IMLI and derivatives might be able to provide improved thermal insulation for storage and preservation of cryogens for a variety of industrial uses, such as insulation for dewars for commercial, medical, industrial and research uses. Large LNG tanks could benefit from improved thermal insulation. CLRMLI might prove beneficial for liquid hydrogen storage for hydrogen fueled aircraft and ground vehicles.

Quest's IMLI may play a beneficial role in reducing energy use. LRMLI has 24X lower heat leak than foam for use in refrigerator/freezers. LRMLI has 100X lower thermal conductivity than silica, and may keep molten salt batteries hot for electric vehicle use. Wrapped MLI has 12X lower heat leak than MLI, and may enable high performance vacuum jacketed pipe insulation for industrial cold transfer piping.

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.)
Composites
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Fuels/Propellants
Passive Systems
Polymers
Smart/Multifunctional Materials

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37