NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 H2.03-9541
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP)
PROPOSAL TITLE: Integrated Multi-Physics and Advanced Diagnostics for NTR Development

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Little Prairie Services
14 Dunkin Road
Edgewood, NM 87015 - 9798
(505) 220-8029

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Roger Lenard
16 Dunkin Road
Edgewood, NM 87015 - 9798
(505) 220-8029

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Roger Lenard
14 Dunkin Road
Edgewood, NM 87015 - 9798
(505) 220-8029

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

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?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Historically, designing a nuclear thermal rocket engine and determining fuel performance has been a refractory and anfractuous process. Typically, fuel forms would be developed and tested in separate tests of mechanical, radiation and thermal testing, and, in the NERVA program, the fuel elements were assembled in a rocket engine and tested. The fuel did not perform to expectations, and the engine needed to be disassembled, the fuel examined and fixed needed to be determined; then the process would repeat itself.

In the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Program, individual fuel elements were tested, but they could not be tested to full power density due to test reactor limitations. Nevertheless, this was a far less expensive approach that full engine testing to determine whether the fuel elements in particular would withstand the rigors of the NRE (Nuclear Rocket Engine) mission.
This proposal outline how LPS and its team members plan to integrate the latest in multi-physics model to simulate a fuel element based on a particular NRE design built up from designer parameters. The multi-physics modules can determine fuel integrity and fission product retention as a function of temperature and operating times, determine micro-structure evolution including cracking and grain growth. The fuel element parameters are derived from high level NRE requirements via the integration of the IROC (Integrated Rocket Optimization Code), linked with PHOENIX, a program linking multi-physics modules through MOOSE (Multi-physics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment) Ultimately, detailed safety related information including results of impact analyses through extensive hydro-codes such as PRONTO/SPH and radiation transport codes such as MACCS2. This enables safety to be integrated in from the very beginning of the design process resulting in a much more optimized safety based nuclear rocket engine.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial application include complex modeling of space system with or without a nuclear power source. Advanced aeronautical modeling to predict failures. This could be used to model rocket test facilities, conventional rocket engine operational capabilities and failure mechanisms.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This project could be applied to such complex items as oil refineries or chemical process plant with the properly benchmarked codes and physics modules.

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
Ionizing Radiation
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)
Spacecraft Main Engine
Verification/Validation Tools

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37