NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 S4.01-8693
SUBTOPIC TITLE: NanoSat Launch Vehicle Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Minimum Cost Nanosatellite Launch System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Delta Velocity Corporation
932 Edwards Ferry Road, Suite 14
Leesburg, VA 20176 - 3324
(540) 338-4103

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joseph Padavano
932 Edwards Ferry Road, Suite 14
Leesburg, VA 20176 - 3324
(540) 338-4103

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 2 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Delta Velocity Corporation proposes the development of a very low cost, highly responsive nanosat launch system. We propose to develop an integrated propulsion system and launch vehicle configuration that provides responsiveness approaching that of solid propellant systems using a non-toxic storable liquid bipropellant mix, an innovative single pressure vessel stage design, and an integrated engine/tankage system. The system combines these innovative propulsion technologies with proven sounding rocket operations concepts to minimize cost. Our two stage nanosat launch system uses rail launch and static stability in early flight phases and a deliberate non-optimum stage sizing to eliminate the requirement for an expensive flight termination system and associated ground infrastructure. Our focus on inherent system safety and maximum vehicle simplicity benefits the responsiveness, reliability, and cost of space launch. The propellants chosen are inexpensive, easy to handle, and inherently safe. These room temperature storable propellants allow use of common, low cost vehicle materials and construction techniques. The system is scalable, allowing it to be adapted to a wide range of space launch systems. The design simplicity of the configuration promises to reduce costs and improve responsiveness of space launch systems.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our proposed nanosat launch system directly satisfies many of the needs of subtopic S4.01. The integrated stage concept is a low-cost propulsion system using low-cost materials and low-cost manufacturing processes. This propulsion technology will help mature a low-cost propulsion system using storable non-toxic propellants. The upper stage provides an innovative propulsion system solution for small spacecraft as the bipropellant mix provides spacecraft primary propulsion and the oxidizer alone can be used as either a monopropellant or cold gas for attitude control. The innovative tank design addresses airframe and subsystem structures that increase performance and propellant mass fraction. Refinement of our propulsion optimization tool will mature a small launch vehicle design and analysis tool. The non-propulsion elements address other needs of the subtopic. Our innovative stage and fairing separation system that separates both the payload fairing and spent first stage with a single separation event is a novel, low-cost release mechanism design. Our spinning aerostable vehicle provides a low-weight avionics architecture to allow maximum payload capacity. Our novel system design and CONOPS address the conceptual design of system/architectures capable of reducing mission costs associated with small payload delivery to LEO. The non-optimum delta V split and rail-launched design provide a range safety solution and operational concept to lower costs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Delta Velocity is particularly interested in development of a responsive 10kg space. At $500K per mission this vehicle would revolutionize space technology development. Expensive and time consuming ground tests could be replaced with simple flight tests in the actual operating environment. Both DARPA and the Air Force Research Lab support the concept of a low-cost responsive nanosat launcher. The Operationally Responsive Space office at Kirtland AFB has a number of ongoing projects to develop low cost, responsive small satellites. A launch capability in this class will greatly benefit that activity. A low-cost student-class launcher will reinvigorate aerospace education in the US and help mitigate the approaching gap in the number of experienced aerospace industry professionals. We will continue our efforts to secure funding outside the SBIR program that would allow us to complete that development. Delta Velocity will also work with DoD organizations and educational organizations at the federal and state levels. Our goal is to provide kits of vehicle hardware and integration procedures that would allow students to safely integrate and operate these vehicles in a classroom environment.

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
Launch and Flight Vehicle
Operations Concepts and Requirements
Propellant Storage

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50