NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 A2.06-9510
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Aerothermodynamics
PROPOSAL TITLE: New Chemical Kinetics Approach for DSMC Applications to Nonequilibrium Flows

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Combustion Research and Flow Technology
6210 Keller's Church Road
Pipersville, PA 18947 - 2010
(215) 766-1520

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Richard G. Wilmoth
124 Burnham Place
Newport News, VA 23606 - 2611
(757) 595-7315

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 2 to 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A new chemical kinetics model and database will be developed for aerothermodynamic analyses on entry vehicles. Unique features of this model include (1) the ability to model chemical kinetics in highly nonequilibrium flows at high altitudes, (2) the ability to predict nonequilibrium dissociation without reliance on traditional continuum kinetic rate equations, and (3) the ability to model complex reactions from fundamental molecular quantum models. The model will permit analyzing high-speed, nonequilibrium flows about entry and aeroassist vehicles based on extensions to Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) codes, and a new database will be developed for these extensions. The new approach offers potential for treating other complex nonequilibrium flow physics including ionization and radiation in a more direct manner than has been previously use and therefore offers potential improvements in accuracy. These tools will provide essential data for assessing the aerothermodynamic performance of a broad variety of vehicle designs over a wide range of vehicle attitudes and flight conditions. The improved accuracy offered by our proposed chemical kinetic modeling approach provides significant benefits in the design of vehicles for both unmanned planetary missions and manned missions to the Moon and Mars.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed chemical kinetics model has potential application to the design and analysis of a broad class of NASA vehicles that experience flight through Earth or other planetary atmospheres under extreme heating conditions. Examples of these vehicles include those being designed to use aerocapture to achieve a low-cost orbit around Neptune and Titan. The model has particular relevance to the design of manned vehicles for return to Earth from lunar and Mars missions that will likely experience extremely high-velocity, nonequilibrium environments such as the proposed Crew Exploration Vehicle.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed chemical kinetics model has potential application to design and analysis in a variety of fields concerned with nano-processes, with DOD interest in missile detection and tracking and RV discrimination, and, with various processes that occur in an gaseous environment including (1) solid state materials processing involving low-density deposition, (2) environmental sampling analysis through plasma spectrochemistry, and (3) nonequilibrium chemical kinetics occurring in higher altitude plumes and divert/control jets.

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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