NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 X4.02-9353
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Suit Life Support Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Super Cooled, Non-toxic, Non-flammable Phase Change Material Thermal Pack for Portable Life Support Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paragon Space Development Corp.
3481 E. Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ 85714 - 2221
(520) 903-1000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tom Leimkeuhler
3481 E. Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ 85714 - 2221
(281) 862-7797

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The continuation of concept development and test of a water-based, advanced Phase Change Material (PCM) heat sink is proposed. Utilizing a novel material choice for both an expansion diaphragm and the PCM case itself, the PCM can accommodate both the expansion of the freezing water-based material and very low temperature of approximately -250F. The water-based PCM itself would be non-toxic and non-flammable, but additives will be included to preclude deterioration of wither the PCM container or the diaphragm material. The use of a water-based PCM gives the highest heat capacity for the mass. This is highly limited due to the needs for portability as required for an Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA). The total heat capacity of an operational unit would be for 4 hour duration EVA use. Through a logical progression of tasks including concept of operation formulation, requirements formulation, concept design reviews and detail design reviews that include design and thermal analysis using Thermal DesktopTM models, this effort can progress from the TRL 3 achieved in Phase I to TRL 4-5. The team will continue development by designing a Variable Conductance Interface (VCI) for protecting water in the Liquid Cooling Garment (LCG) from freezing due to the temperature of the heat sink used by the PCM. The team will also develop system improvements identified during Phase I testing. The PCM will be tested to confirm heat input/temperature performance and cycling capability. The test bed will allow for accurate heat input knowledge, temperature monitoring and cycling capability. The results will be compared to the thermal model to ensure accurate prediction capability for the next phase unit and system implementation. The design description and test results would form the basis of the final report.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The purpose of this SBIR is to address the need as identified within the NASA SBIR solicitation under X4.02 "Space Suit Life Support Systems" and, specifically, a non-toxic, non-flammable, super-cooled below 32oF, phase change material that can absorb metabolic heat during an EVA. Hence, the primary application will be for the purpose of providing this heat rejection capability in a compact, reliable form for use within a PLSS, and therefore NASA's Constellation Space Suit Program is a prime customer. However, the application of this technology may go well beyond this to PCM use within:

1. The emerging Orion vehicle design.
2. The future Altair Lunar Surface Access Module design
3. PCM utilization within any lunar surface habitat
4. PCM utilization within any lunar rovers (Small Pressurized Rover)
Each of these potential NASA applications could be augmented, and perhaps greatly enhanced, through the use of the high heat capacity and heat of fusion of water. In the case of the lunar vehicles or habitats, the access to a thermal environment that is very cold (Shackleton crater region on the moon) will allow for quick regeneration.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are multiple industries within the commercial sector that could use a portable and robust cooling system. In Paragon's experience, our Navy work has exposed us to the critical needs of Navy Seals for underwater cooling during vigorous near-shore ocean operations. Other commercial sectors that may be interested in this technology would be the mining industry, the firefighting equipment industry, the commercial warm-water diving industry, and the chemical/biological hazard suit industry. Each of these has a similar theme of an enclosed person generating substantial metabolic load as well as experiencing environments where the rejection of heat through passive convection and radiation is not possible. Another potential commercial market is on-demand cooling, such as for golf carts which now exhibit cooling on some courses in the hotter parts of the country (see Additionally, hybrid automobiles may benefit from this technology to alleviate the high power demands of the environmental control system.

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.

Air Revitalization and Conditioning
Portable Life Support

Form Generated on 08-08-08 10:51