NASA SBIR 00-1 SOLICITATION

FORM 9B - PROJECT SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER 00-1 10.03-9186 (Chron: 000815 )
PROJECT TITLE
Hyperbaric Chamber Compressor for Treatment of Decompression Sickness



TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

NASA is currently developing an on-board hyperbaric chamber to treat decompression sickness in crewmembers during long-term space missions. However, they do not have a compressor that will operate in zero gravity to pressurize the chamber. The goal of this program is to develop a compact, lightweight compressor for the hyperbaric chamber. Commercial, earth-based compressors typically require gravity-circulated lubrication oil for the bearings. Mainstream proposes developing a magnetic-bearing centrifugal compressor that does not require lubrication and therefore operates independently of gravity. The air compressor has tremendous size, weight, power, and reliability advantages. It can be coupled with molecular sieves to produce oxygen, which is also used in the treatment of decompression sickness and cryocoolers to produce liquid oxygen, critical for space missions. In Phase I, Mainstream will design, fabricate and demonstrate the air compressor on an existing high-speed test stand. The demonstration compressor, driven by a turbine, will prove the feasibility of the innovation. In Phase II, a prototype magnetic bearing air compressor will be manufactured and demonstrated. In Phase III, Mainstream will pursue flight approval and work with our commercial partner on earth-based units.



POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

Compact, lightweight, oil-free air compressors have tremendous military and commercial potential. The next generation of nuclear, chemical, biological (NBC) filtration systems for military environmental control units (ECU) require high-flow, lightweight, air supplies. Combined with oxygen concentrators, air compressors can be used to generate high-purity oxygen. In fact, Mainstream and their commercial partner have already demonstrated that magnetic bearing centrifugal compressors can help increase oxygen production 150%, power efficiency 215%, space efficiency 270%, and weight efficiency 425% over state-of-the-art systems. The Army, Navy, and Air Force all have considerable interest in these systems for forward medical treatment areas. Commercial aircraft companies also have interest in these systems to replace chemical oxygen generators that provide on-board oxygen for medical passengers at the expense of fuel reserves. Other oxygen generation opportunities include the home health market and civilian field hospitals.



NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Gregory S. Cole
Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place
Rockledge , FL   32955 - 5327



NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place
Rockledge , FL   32955 - 5327