NASA STTR 2006 Solicitation


RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Advanced Extravehicular Activity (AEVA)
PROPOSAL TITLE:Self-Regulating Freezable Heat Exchanger and Radiator

NAME: TDA Research, Inc. NAME:Portland State University
ADDRESS:12345 W. 52nd Ave. ADDRESS:P.O. Box 751
CITY:Wheat Ridge CITY:Portland
STATE/ZIP:CO  80033-1917 STATE/ZIP:OR  97207-0751
PHONE: (303) 422-7819 PHONE: (503) 725-4290

James   Nabity

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
At present, both the astronaut's metabolic heat and that produced by the Portable Life Support System are rejected to space by a sublimator that consumes up to 8 pounds of water per use; the single largest expendable during an eight-hour EVA. Unfortunately, this will not be acceptable for lunar and interplanetary missions where resupply is difficult. We can greatly reduce the water consumption by radiating most of the heat load to space. However, a radiator rejects heat at a relatively constant rate, whereas the heat generation rate depends on the workload. Without a way to match the heat removal rate, the astronaut could alternately suffer both heat exhaustion and frostbite. Therefore, TDA Research, Inc. proposes to regulate the heat rejection rate with a freezable heat exchanger. In Phase I we will conduct tests to show that the heat transfer rate can be self-regulated from high to low heat loads and vice-versa. Our research institute partner, Portland State University, will design zero-g loop heat pipes to transfer heat from the heat exchanger to the radiator. In Phase II we will design and build a full-scale freezable heat exchanger and lightweight radiator and evaluate its performance in an environmental vacuum chamber.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
A freezable radiator to accommodate the 9.1% expansion during freeze will provide thermal system control to space-based systems (both manned and un-manned). Our freezable radiator is lightweight and quickly responds to changing environments or metabolic loads; both freezing and thawing as needed. Further, the technology can be readily scaled to applications other than Portable Life Support, such as spacecraft, space-based stations and lunar / Mars stations.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The largest and nearest term commercial applications are the use of freeze tolerant tubing on earth. These earth-based applications include sprinkler systems and potable water supply in homes and commercial buildings. This market is potentially very large and virtually un-tapped because of the lack of a viable freeze tolerant tube. The Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction says frozen pipes have cost the insurance companies in the USA $4.2 billion in damage to insured homes and buildings over the past decade. The savings in insurance rates alone could more than offset the cost to the user, who would have the added benefit of not having valuables destroyed by water damage and their lives disturbed during repairs of the water damage.

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.

Portable Life Support

Form Printed on 09-09-06 13:11