NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H2.04-8901
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Fluid Management for In-Space Transportation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Parahydrogen-Orthohydrogen Catalytic Conversion for Cryogenic Propellant Passive Heat Shielding

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ultramet
12173 Montague Street
Pacoima, CA 91331 - 2210
(818) 899-0236

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Matthew J. Wright
matt.wright@ultramet.com
Ultramet
Pacoima, CA 91331 - 2210
(818) 899-0236 Extension :124

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Craig N. Ward
craig.ward@ultramet.com
Ultramet
Pacoima, CA 91331 - 2210
(818) 899-0236 Extension :127

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Cryogenic Fluid Management for In-Space Transportation 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)
The Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) laboratory at Washington State University (WSU) recently demonstrated a Cryocatalysis Hydrogen Experiment Facility (CHEF) to characterize parahydrogen-orthohydrogen catalysts for passive heat shielding. Current passive heat shields utilize boiloff vapors from liquid hydrogen (LH2) tanks to refrigerate and eliminate boiloff from liquid oxygen (LOX) tanks. Catalyzing the endothermic parahydrogen-orthohydrogen conversion is estimated to increase the refrigeration capacity of the hydrogen as much as 50% and effectively reduces the amount of hydrogen required to maintain zero boiloff of LOX. In this project, Ultramet will partner with the HYPER laboratory at WSU to synthesize, characterize, and compare ruthenium- and iron-based catalysts for optimal thermal properties and processing when applied to lightweight fiber blanket material for bulk application in passive heat shielding. In Phase I, a design matrix of catalysts will be characterized over a range of porosities and activities. Ultramet will perform surface area analysis of the catalyst granules prior to single-blind heat shielding tests in CHEF at the HYPER laboratory. In Phase II, the properties of the leading catalysts will be optimized for phase and porosity, the properties of the leading blanket material will be applied to a COMSOL modeling program already developed by the HYPER lab to design a prototype blanket, and a manufacturing plan will be developed. Potential Phase II and III teaming partners are United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Boeing, both of which have expressed interest in the technology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed catalytic heat exchanger can be used for passive heat shielding and catalytic pressurization on NASA spacecraft and propellant depots. Any vehicle employing LH2 in either space or terrestrial applications can benefit. Specifically, vapor-shielded stages such as Centaur, used on Delta IV, Atlas V, and potentially SLS, stand to benefit. Rocket engines incorporating regeneratively cooled combustion chambers, such as the RL-10, can incorporate this technology for decreased wall temperature. Promising near-term applications are parahydrogen-orthohydrogen conversion beds in hydrogen liquefiers and cryocoolers. The microstructure coupled with electromagnetic field varying will provide optimal thermal advantage to weight comparisons. In-space cryogen boiloff is the largest at-launch expense for space travel, and this technology can increase the refrigeration capacity of hydrogen boiloff vapors nearly 50% for passive heat shielding applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Parahydrogen-orthohydrogen catalysts are reversible, and the proposed catalytic heat exchangers can be used for hydrogen liquefaction and refrigeration systems. Any system utilizing passive heat shielding, including terrestrial hydrogen storage dewars and tankers, stands to 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.)
Analytical Methods
Ceramics
Coatings/Surface Treatments
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Fuels/Propellants
Heat Exchange
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Passive Systems
Processing Methods
Simulation & Modeling

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37