NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 03-F3.01-8728 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034277)
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Thermal Control Systems for Human Space Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low evaporation rate storage media for cryogenic liquids

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nanomaterials Company
17 North Bacton Hill Road
Malvern ,PA 19355 - 1002
(610) 695 - 0081

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nicholas V   Coppa
17 North Bacton Hill Road
Malvern ,PA  19355 -1002
(610) 695 - 0081
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

Considerable design work has been devoted to the development of cryogenic liquid storage containers. Containers which hold cryogenic liquids such as liquid nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, etc. often are double walled vacuum insulated or super insulation flasks, bottles or tanks. Vessels so designed for space applications have the lowest cryogen evaporation rates of any available, but research is ongoing to render these containers less permeable to heat flux. We propose a different approach to increasing the cryogenic liquid hold time. We propose increasing the heat needed to drive off the cryogenic liquid by fundamentally changing the heat needed to cause evaporation of the cryogenic liquid. Our unique approach should not be confused with technology developed to support cryogens during shipping or other mechanical gyrations, exploits the unique physics and chemistry of nanomaterials and their interaction with the cryogenic liquid. Successful development of the proposed technology will result in longer hold times, decreased payload mass, lower volume, increased safety and decreased energy utilization.

NASA will derive substantial benefits since many cryogenic thermal issues exist in space technology. Storage of cryogens in fuel and oxidizer tanks at the launch site, on orbit, and in transit vehicles, storage of cryogens for thermal management and storage of biological tissues, and the recuperation of cryogens will be positively impacted by longer hold time, lower mass and lower evaporation rates. Our technology will decrease the need for resupply, increase mission duration, increase safety and provide better pressure management, decrease energy usage for cryogen recuperation, lower cryogen payload mass, decreased launch fuel and oxidizer costs.

All industries or commercial enterprises which utilize cryogenic fluids, will enjoy cost savings because the evaporation rate of the cryogenic liquids will be reduced. Manufacturers of cryogenic liquids will benefit from decreased energy cost since the energy needed to condense the cryogenic liquids will be reduced. Cryogens will become more portable and so the military will enjoy more wide spread use cryogenic liquids, and extend the hold time of cryogens in existing applications. This translates into lower resupply needs, longer duration missions and missions using cryogens into more extreme environments.