NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Space Transportation Propulsion System and Test Facility Requirements and Instrumentation
PROPOSAL TITLE:Computational Modeling in Support of High Altitude Testing Facilities

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Combustion Research and Flow Technology
6210 Keller's Church Road
Pipersville, PA 18947-1020
(215) 766-1520

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Vineet   Ahuja
6210 Keller's Church Road
Pipersville, PA  18947-1020
(215) 766-1520

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Simulation technology plays an important role in rocket engine test facility design and development by assessing risks, identifying failure modes and predicting anomalous behavior of critical systems. Advanced numerical tools assume greater significance in supporting testing and design of high altitude testing facilities because of the greater inter-dependence and synergy in the functioning of the different sub-systems. This is especially true for J2-X testing because of a challenging operating envelope linked to variable throttle conditions at relatively low chamber pressures. Facility designs require a complex network of diffuser ducts, steam ejector trains, fast operating valves, spray nozzles and flow diverters that need to be characterized for steady state performance. More importantly, integrated facility designs will also have to be evaluated for startup/shutdown transients that can trigger engine unstart modes leading to catastrophic failure. The proposed innovation expands on the multi-element unstructured CFD which has been validated for complex valve/feed systems and high pressure propellant delivery systems used in engine and component test stands at NASA SSC. The focus here will be on extending this capability to include advanced models for supersonic diffuser design, steam ejector performance, spray nozzle cooling efficiency, plume aspiration dynamics and isolation valve operation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The end of Phase II will culminate in a numerical simulation software (CRUNCH CFDREG code) that would predict performance of key systems in high altitude test facilities for rocket and satellite propulsion engines, including colloidal/ion thrusters and nuclear propulsion engines, provide design support by supplementing current empirical rules, and diagnose system anomalies as well as evaluate transient performance. The technology developed here would directly impact analysis in the design and operation of test facilities for the upper-stage J-2X engine in the Ares 1 launcher as well as J-2X cluster to be used in the EDS of the heavy lift launcher. Direct analysis of propellant delivery systems, control valves, ejector systems and spray nozzle configurations can improve safety in the facilities and cut down on activation tests as well as assess risk potential for failure modes.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed suite of computational tools developed here impacts a broad segment of the commercial market that includes the general area of rapid response control valves, and steam ejectors in industries as diverse as chemical process plants, manufacturing facilities and aerospace propulsion test sites. Our software can be used as a diagnostic tool in predicting system instabilities, and identifying dominant modes for structural excitation thereby improving safety in nuclear, aerospace testing and process facilities. The software can also be utilized for improving the design and efficiency of jet pumps, ejectors etc. that is beneficial to a wide array of applications ranging from refrigeration, air-conditioning, power generation, as well oil and natural gas extraction and processing.

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.

Feed System Components
Fluid Storage and Handling
Simulation Modeling Environment
Testing Facilities

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19