NASA SBIR 2019-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 19-1- Z2.01-3548
 Spacecraft Thermal Management
 Intelligent Two-Phase Flow Phenomena Sensor for Enhanced Thermal Management Control
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stratos Perception, LLC
4385 North MacGregor Way
Houston, TX 77004- 6553
(713) 205-4745

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Dr. Rube Williams Jr
4385 N MacGregor Way Houston, TX 77004 - 6553
(713) 205-4745

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Dr. Rube Williams Jr
4385 N MacGregor Way Houston, TX 77004 - 6553
(713) 205-4745
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 2
End: 4
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

Two-phase flow fluids can offer more power to forced-convective heat transport, because such fluids utilize phase change to dramatically increase (or decrease) heat transport capabilities over single-phase flow convection.  Unfortunately, two-phase flow systems are inherently unstable and can accordingly introduce significant management challenges in the reduced and variable acceleration fields that are typically present on spacecraft.


While, in spacecraft, a stable separation of the fluid phases can be achieved in a phase-separator (i.e. via the radial acceleration about a vortex flow field), such stability is not easily available in the flow channels of implemented condenser or evaporators.  The several flow regimes that can exist in two-phase flow channels (e.g. bubbly flow, slug flow, annular flow) are highly sensitive to the external acceleration field.   Further, flow regime, flow rate, heat-flux, flow quality, and pressure drop, and temperature are all interdependent, where a change in one causes (potentially dramatic) changes in the others.   This introduces a hard design and operational challenge due to the starkly different fluid and thermal properties that can exist as a function of the flow regime in a two-phase flow channel, and the risky thermal transients that can occur. 


This problem can be substantially reduced by an intelligent sensor that can discern the thermal and fluid characteristics in a two-phase flow channel and provide such information to an intelligent control system in real-time.


This research develops such an intelligent sensor for two-phase flow implementations in spacecraft, providing a capability to both sense, and via intelligent control, precisely specify the flow regime and flow quality of a two-phase flow channel.


Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Spacecraft thermal management

Spacesuit thermal management

Space Habitat thermal management

Human waste bio-processor

Ranking cycle heat engines 

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Manufacturing (e.g. coatings, medicines, semiconductors)

Industrial processing (e.g. metals, chemicals, foods)

Satellite thermal management

Spacecraft thermal management (space tourism)


Duration: 6

Form Generated on 06/16/2019 23:33:54