NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Planetary Balloons and Aerobots
PROPOSAL TITLE:Titan Balloon Convection Model

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Winzen Engineering Inc
23350 Southfork
San Antonio, TX 78255-2108
(210) 415-5041

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James   Rand
23350 Southfork
San Antonio, TX  78255-2108
(210) 415-5041

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This innovative research effort is directed at determining, quantitatively, the convective heat transfer coefficients applicable to a Montgolfiere balloon operating in an atmosphere simulating that of Titan. It is anticipated that a platform such as this will provide the mobility desired to explore that part of the solar system. Utilizing only the waste heat available from an on board power source, it should be possible to circumnavigate Saturn's largest moon. Accurate knowledge of free convection is essential for predicting the performance and mitigating the risk for such a mission. In order to simulate a volume of gas large enough to inflate a model balloon at 77K, vacuum insulation panels will be used to minimize the thermal losses. At the conclusion of this Phase I effort, a final report will establish the feasibility of this approach and describe the future applications of this technology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology developed by this research will enable NASA engineers to properly evaluate the operational capabilities of a buoyant platform currently being considered for use in the exploration of the solar system. In addition, this technology will enable others to produce a significant volume of gas simulating the Titan atmosphere. Other NASA offices may use this technology to simulate other features of the mission to Titan.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The experience gained in creating a large volume of gas suitable for testing buoyant vehicles will be of great interest to others in the aerospace industry. The current emphasis on near space opportunities has attracted interest in terrestrial stratospheric platforms for remote sensing and communications. Non-NASA applications include the HAA and ISIS programs as well as a variety of commercial ventures.

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.

Fluid Storage and Handling
Simulation Modeling Environment
Testing Facilities
Thermal Insulating Materials

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19