NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 A2.06-8756
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Aerothermodynamics
PROPOSAL TITLE: Efficient Radiation Simulation in Complex Geometries with Applications to Planetary Entry

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jabiru Software and Services
3819 Sunnycroft Place
West Lafayette, IN 47906 - 8815
(765) 497-3653

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Sanjay R Mathur
3819 Sunnycroft Place
West Lafayette, IN 47906 - 8815
(765) 497-3653

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA aerocapture missions require an accurate evaluation of radiative thermal transport in order to simulate the aerothermal environment around space vehicles. However, present day computation of radiative transport in this complex multi-dimensional environment is frequently done using simple one-dimensional tangent-slab approximations or optically-thick approximations which compromise the accuracy of predictions and which cannot be generalized to new vehicle configurations.
In this Phase I proposal, we seek to develop an efficient and accurate unstructured solution-adaptive finite volume solver for participating radiation in complex geometries to address the aerothermodynamics of realistic space vehicles. A number of innovations are proposed to significantly accelerate solver performance over conventional implementations: (i) a spectral line weighted sum of gray gases model for property computation which is significantly faster than conventional line-by-line techniques, (ii) algorithmic improvements based on coupled algebraic multigrid and multiplicative correction techniques, and (iii) parallel implementations on both distributed and shared memory platforms, including new multicore architectures. The proposed framework is fully compatible with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods for flow, heat transfer, turbulence and chemistry, and coupling to these is proposed for Phase II.
The project team consists of Drs. Sanjay Mathur of Jabiru Software and Services, and Prof. Jayathi Murthy of Purdue's School of Mechanical Engineering. The team is highly experienced in the development of large-scale commercial finite volume solvers, radiative heat transfer, and algorithm development, and has over two decades each of experience in the development and commercialization of large-scale CFD codes.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The solver developed during Phases I and II of this project will find wide applicability in NASA. Efficient and accurate flow solvers based on unstructured meshes addressing compressible and incompressible flows will find use in NASA's aerodynamics, aerothermodynamics, space entry, internal fluid mechanics, turbomachinery, microgravity, propulsion and materials processing programs. Efficient solvers for thermal radiation will find application in NASA's National Combustor Code, as well as other applications in propulsion and power-generation, and in materials processing applications such as chemical and plasma vapor deposition.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Thermal radiation plays a central role in a variety of applications in the automotive, aerospace, power generation and materials processing sectors. In the automotive arena, in-cylinder combustion requires the computation of participating radiation. Propulsion applications similarly require the computation of thermal radiation combined with models for hydrocarbon combustion, as do applications in the commercial power generation arena, where coal/oil/natural gas combustion burners and furnaces form the mainstay. In the materials processing area, our opportunity would lie in the area of glass and ceramics processing, where band-radiation in semitransparent media govern the physics. Applications include the manufacture of plate glass, automotive wind shields, fiber-glass for home insulation and ceramics processing for semi-conductor applications. The Phase II extensions, including the coupling of fast solvers for non-equilibrium chemistry, will find application in a variety of combustion applications, and also in emerging materials processing applications such as plasma chemical vapor deposition (CVD).

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.

Fundamental Propulsion Physics
Simulation Modeling Environment

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