NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 Z9.01-9627
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Small Launch Vehicle Technologies and Demonstrations
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Performance Hybrid Propulsion System for a Small Launch Vehicle

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Physical Sciences, Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Jason A. Wagner
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 738-8147

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. B. David Green
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003 Extension :8146

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Small Launch Vehicle Technologies and Demonstrations 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)
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to design, develop and demonstrate an innovative high-performance, green, storable hybrid propellant system in a high mass fraction launch vehicle for small satellites. The hybrid system utilizes an innovative composite solid fuel technology that significantly enhances fuel regression rate and ignitibility relative to state-of-the-art hybrids, without relying on a multi-port fuel grain geometry, complex port flow behavior, or the use of metallic additives. The high energy, high density liquid oxidizer improves hybrid motor combustion capabilities and reduces logistical operational cost compared to current state-of-the-art cryogenic oxidizers. This new system offers all advantages associated with hybrid propulsion, including inherent safety and simplicity in design. In Phase I, the hybrid system efficacy will be quantified through subscale motor demonstrations. The results generated will be utilized to conduct a realistic system level design of the propulsion system for full-scale demonstration in Phase II.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed hybrid system will serve as the primary propulsion system for a small launch vehicle, offering a safe, low-cost, and logistically simple opportunity for delivery of small payloads into LEO. The ride-share method is currently the most reliable and most often used option available for delivering CubeSat's (5 kg) and other small satellite payloads (< 180 kg) into Low Earth Orbit. However, it is anticipated that the number of small satellites delivered to LEO will continue to increase, and thus cheaper and more readily available transport options are required. The hybrid concept also allows for throttling, making it a feasible design for upper stage systems. Additionally, the innovative system offers scale up capabilities that would allow for development of a hybrid propulsion system for launch vehicles carrying large satellite payloads.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed hybrid propulsion technology will be of significant interest to multiple DoD agencies as well as the commercial space launch industry. For tactical systems, tailoring of the fuel grain port geometry is often required to achieve specific thrust profiles; this is currently not feasible with state-of-the-art hybrid systems, as multi-port fuel grain geometries are needed to improve regression rate. In the proposed system, the high regression rate and allows for a single port fuel grain, and thus, tailoring of the port geometry is viable. Throttling capabilities are provided by the hybrid system, which can also be utilized for thrust modulation. The composite fuel technology developed for the hybrid system can also be applied to tactical air-breathing systems such as ducted rockets, ramjets, and scramjets. The challenges associated with poor regression rate and flame stability in these systems can be mitigated by using the innovative composite fuel. The hybrid system can also be used for launch vehicles being developed within commercial space launch industry. Sub-orbital tourism is another industry in which hybrid propulsion is of keen interest, and thus, a viable application for the proposed system.

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.)
Launch Engine/Booster

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59