NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 X10.04-9170
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Heat Rejection Technologies for Nuclear Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Titanium Loop Heat Pipes for Space Nuclear Radiators

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.
1046 New Holland Avenue
Lancaster ,PA 17601 - 5688
(717) 295 - 6061

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William G. Anderson
1046 New Holland Avenue
Lancaster, PA  17601 -5688
(717) 295 - 6061

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop titanium Loop Heat Pipes (LHPs) that can be used in low-mass space nuclear radiators, such as the radiators currently being designed for Project Prometheus, as well as radiators for the lunar and Mars surfaces. LHPs are two phase heat transfer devices that can be embedded in radiator panels. Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) has completed a radiator trade study that showed that radiators with titanium LHPs have the highest specific power in the temperature range from 300 to 550 K, increasing the specific power over heat pipe radiators by more than 1/3. The Phase I program will develop titanium/water LHPs that can operate in the low to intermediate temperature range (300 to 500K), as well as the lower portion of the intermediate temperature range (450 to 550 K). The Phase II program will develop alkali metal LHPs that can operate in the intermediate to high temperature ranges (700 to 1000 K and higher).

LHPs for space nuclear radiators are the immediate NASA application. With Project Prometheus, NASA is examining space nuclear power systems for a number of missions. Other potential applications include power systems on the Moon and Mars. One possible design that is being examined in Project Prometheus uses a Brayton cycle to generate electricity. The radiator could operate in the intermediate temperature range of 350 K to 550 K. With water as the working fluid, titanium LHPs would reduce the radiator mass when compared with the alternate known compatible material, which is Monel. Other proposed systems operate at higher temperatures, and required alkali metal LHPs. An advantage of titanium is that its CTE is suitable for attachment to carbon-carbon or GFRC radiator fins.

Titanium is an ideal LHP material where low mass and high strength are important. An additional benefit of titanium is that it is compatible with heat pipe and LHP working fluids over the broadest possible temperature range. Titanium components have been used with working fluids that include sodium, potassium, cesium, water, ammonia and nitrogen. ACT plans to use the technology developed in this program to provide commercial LHPs at higher and lower temperatures, when low mass and high strength are important.

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.

Nuclear (Adv Fission, Fusion, Anti-Matter, Exotic Nuclear)
Nuclear Conversion

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12