NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-A7.02-7225 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 035782)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Revolutionary Flight Concepts
PROPOSAL TITLE:Altitude Compensating Nozzle Transonic Performance Flight Demonstration

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
K T ENGINEERING CORPORATION
4835 University Square, Suite 2
Huntsville ,AL 35816 - 1845
(256) 489 - 5832

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Richard   Denton
dick.denton@kte-aerospace.com
4835 University Square, Suite 2
Huntsville ,AL  35816 -1845
(256) 489 - 5832
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Altitude compensating nozzles continue to be of interest for use on future launch vehicle boosters and upper stages because of their higher mission average Isp and superior packaging efficiency compared with conventional bell nozzle designs. The plume physics and performance of altitude compensating nozzles have been characterized through extensive cold gas wind tunnel testing, limited hot gas testing, and computational fluid dynamic modeling. However, no altitude compensating nozzle has ever been validated in flight. Questions remain regarding performance through the critical transonic regime (Mach 0.6-1.5) where a high degree of interaction is expected between the external flow around the vehicle and the hot gas plume. A Phase I study is proposed to establish feasibility of validating transonic performance for an altitude compensating nozzle using the NASA F15B Propulsion Flight Test Fixture. Under this Phase I program we will derive requirements for the test, develop preliminary designs for the flight test article, establish test plans and procedures, coordinate closely with the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center to assure experiment safety and seamless integration with the F15B/PFTF, finalize plans for Phase II, and document our results. Test article fabrication, integration, and testing will be performed during a subsequent Phase II effort.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Altitude compensating nozzles are of interest to the NASA Next Generation Launch Technology program because they offer higher rocket engine performance compared with traditional bell nozzle designs. Higher engine performance results in a launch system that is smaller, potentially more operable, and lower cost. The proposed research will expand the general understanding of the flow physics associated with all free expansion nozzle designs and be used to anchor general purpose nozzle design tools. In this way, the proposed research will benefit a broad range of future NASA programs developing advanced rocket and air-augmented launch vehicle concepts.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The proposed research will expand the general understanding of the flow physics associated with all free expansion nozzle designs. This knowledge and the improvement in analytical tools used to predict nozzle performance will also benefit non-NASA aerospace industry developing advanced rocket and air-augmented launch vehicle concepts.