NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H2.01-9651
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In-Space Chemical Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE: Enabling Pump Technologies for Deep Throttle Ascent/Descent Engine Operation

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)
Mr. Scott Sargent
6325 West 55th Ave
Arvada, CO 80002 - 2707
(303) 421-8111

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. 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: 1
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
In-Space Chemical Propulsion 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)
Methane fueled ascent / descent space engines in the 10,000 to 25,000 lbf thrust class require deep throttle capability, placing unique challenges on the turbopumps. Previous engine throttle-ability studies have required both LOX and fuel turbopumps to operate at ratios of volumetric flow rate to shaft speed (Q/N) of 0.2 to over 1 for 10:1 engine throttle operation. Such operational ranges are particularly difficult for pump axial inducers and vaned radial diffusers. Both are prone to fluid separation and stall at low Q/N operation and excessive passage blockage due to cavitation at high Q/N values. The proposed innovation combines two separate technologies to address the inherent design shortcomings of the inducer and diffuser under operation at both low and high Q/N extremes.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed innovation has application in any pump fed rocket engine requiring throttle operation. Of particular interest would be the potential ability for variable speed inducer to eliminate the need for boost pumps on cryogenic rocket engines. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion applications, conventional upper stage liquid rocket engines, and liquid booster class engines could all benefit from this technology. Cryogenic fluid transfer pumps especially those envisioned for on-orbit propellant depots where propellants may be near saturation conditions could benefit greatly from this innovation by enabling improved pump efficiency.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Industrial applications for this innovation are wide ranging. The emerging energy market for liquid natural gas (LNG) stands to benefit from this technology. Specifically, the boost and transfer pumps required for LNG utilization in trains and other heavy equipment propulsion systems often require inducers to ensure that as much LNG can be extracted from mobile storage tanks as possible. This innovation can aid in reducing the amount of heel left in these storage tanks by decreasing the inducer NPSH required for safe operation and long life. The ability to transfer LNG efficiently is receiving increasing importance due to the significant operational cost advantages over traditional gasoline and diesel systems. Barber-Nichols Inc. currently does substantial business in the manufacture of cryogenic pumps for applied research, industrial gas products, and energy production. This innovation could be incorporated into any of these pumps to increase inducer performance, reliability and life.

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
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37