NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-1 H2.04-8027
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Fluid Management for In-Space Transportation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Microcapillary Recuperative Heat Exchanger (MRHX)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
CU Aerospace, LLC
301 North Neil Street, Suite 502
Champaign, IL 61820 - 3169
(217) 239-1703

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Chris Mangun
cmangun@cuaerospace.com
301 North Neil Street, Suite 502
Champaign, IL 61820 - 3169
(217) 239-1704

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. David L Carroll
carroll@cuaerospace.com
301 North Neil Street, Suite 502
Champaign, IL 61820 - 3169
(217) 239-1703

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)
CU Aerospace (CUA) and team partner Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) propose to develop a low-cost lightweight recuperative heat exchanger for High Power/High Efficiency cryocoolers, in support of Cryogenic Fluid Management for In-Space Transportation. Brayton cryocoolers are well suited for high cooling power space applications, especially those such as cryogenic propellant management that benefit from broad area cooling. However, Brayton recuperators are large, heavy and expensive. CUA and LMSSC have been developing a robust ultra-compact recuperative heat exchanger for Joule-Thomson (JT) cryocoolers using CUA�s sacrificial fiber technology (VascTech). This technology relies on weaving warp sacrificial fibers with weft copper wires to make a 3D structure with excellent counterflow heat exchange, but low parasitic heat conductance. The proposed microcapillary recuperative heat exchanger (MRHX) requires much larger gas flow (for >150 W cooling at 90 K) than the JT recuperator, and the focus of this proposed work will be modifying and scaling up the heat exchanger for Brayton applications. This new recuperator material will reduce the mass and cost of Brayton coolers while offering improved thermal performance.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The microcapillary recuperative heat exchanger (MRHX) supports the NASA Roadmap for In-Space Transportation, Cryogenic Fluid Management. A lighter, low cost, more robust Brayton cryocooler has numerous space applications, and may be able to replace Stirling and pulse tube coolers used in many instruments, eliminating the risk of exported vibration from the cryocooler and offering broad area cooling which is difficult to achieve with Stirling coolers. Many highly sensitive instruments and optics require precise thermal stability and uniformity. Most space cryocoolers provide cooling at a point source, and must cool the instrument or optics conductively. This can lead to thermal gradients within large structures, and can also lead to temperature gradients between the cryocooler and instrument which require the cryocooler to operate at a lower temperature (and consequently require more electrical input power). Thermal gradients within cryogenic storage tanks are a concern for long life cryogenic propellant storage. Developing this MRHX allows one to retain the remote cooling functionality of the Brayton cooler but at lower mass and cost.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We regard the MRHX as having high potential for infusion to external customers as the hardware geometry and manufacturing process can be adapted for a wide variety of uses. The recuperative heat exchanger can also be used in Joule-Thomson coolers, such as the sorption coolers used on Herschel, Planck, Astro-E and Astro-H. Furthermore, there are many terrestrial uses for inexpensive counterflow heat exchangers, beyond cryogenic applications such as air liquefaction and separation. This recuperator geometry also offers potentially lower cost and higher performance for commercial cryogenic applications such as air liquefaction and separation using Hampson-Linde coolers.

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.)
Active Systems
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Heat Exchange
Polymers

Form Generated on 04-26-16 15:14