NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 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
6210 Keller's Church Rd.
Pipersville, PA 18947 - 2010
(215) 766-1520

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 used and therefore offers potential improvements in accuracy. These tools will provide essential data for assessing the aerothermodynamic performance for a wide range of vehicle designs over a wide range of vehicle attitudes and flight conditions. The improved accuracy offered by our proposed chemical kinetic modeling approach offers 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 software and database has substantive market potential for NASA return-to-space related activities, in terms of its broad-based applicability to vehicle design for both high-altitude continuum (60-85km) and rarefied flights. The new software developed directly supports the design of aeroassist and planetary entry vehicle systems, providing improved accuracy and ease of usage over existing software, thus reducing design costs and producing more reliable designs. NASA programs supported include Constellation, which involves LEO and Lunar return missions based on CEV, COTS which provides manned / unmanned service to and from ISS, and New Millennium which involves a number of planetary entry and sample return missions. The chemical kinetics model will be implemented in existing DSMC software (DAC) used by NASA and its contractors and will have overall features which will facilitate its widespread usage, as ascertained in discussions with key NASA personnel.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Varied DOD groups are extremely interested in this software and programs are in place facilitating widespread usage. We are involved in DOD programs where such high-altitude chemical kinetics is of interest for RV discrimination (MDA), for plume/divert jet signature predictions (AFRL/MDA), and for sensor/seeker window blinding/contamination by divert jets on interceptor missiles at rarefied altitudes (Army). The new model will greatly improve upon calculations at higher continuum altitudes which is of interest to DoD for: (1) RV applications where the wake (with charged species and/or ablation products) provides observable data used for detection and tracking; (2) plume/divert jet observable studies where local rarefaction effects occur and embedded DSMC is needed for accuracy; and (3) multi-body and flux interaction studies at high altitudes where the dense plume/blast interacting with the vehicle must be treated by local continuum methods with the vehicle itself being embedded in a rarefied, high-altitude flow.

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
Micro Thrusters
Simulation Modeling Environment

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