NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 A2.01-9677
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Materials and Structures for Future Aircraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: Thermal Management System for Superconducting Aircraft

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Creare, Inc.
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 0071
(603) 643-3800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Anthony Dietz
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 0071
(603) 640-2310

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Aircraft powered by hydrogen power plants or gas turbines driving electric generators connected to distributed electric motors for propulsion have the potential to transform the aircraft design space by decoupling power generation from propulsion. Resulting aircraft designs such as blended wing bodies with distributed propulsion can provide the large reductions in emissions, fuel burn and noise required to make air transportation growth projections sustainable. The power density requirements for these electric machines can only be achieved with superconducting materials. However, their feasibility is dependent on improving the power density of the cryocoolers needed to cool the superconductors to their operating temperatures. We propose a Cryoflight turbo-Brayton cryocooler, optimized for low weight and high efficiency. Our initial design studies indicate that this design will exceed the mass and performance targets identified by NASA for superconducting aircraft. In Phase I of this project we will extend our initial design study to include a system trade study and individual component designs (TRL 3). In Phase II we will demonstrate the turbomachine, the most critical component in the system (TRL 4). In Phase III we will demonstrate a complete cryocooler (TRL 4 and TRL 5). Our proposed Cryoflight cryocooler development effort will provide an enabling technology for superconducting aircraft, which have the potential to revolutionalize future air transportation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed Cryoflight cryocooler development effort will support NASA's long term goal to increase aircraft efficiency and reduce aircraft emissions and noise. By providing a cryocooler optimized to meet the aggressive power density target required for aircraft systems, we will remove a key obstacle hindering the development of superconducting aircraft. While such aircraft are still two or three decades from production, supporting technology development needs to begin now if such aircraft are to become a viable alternative to the aircraft configurations in production today. The results of this SBIR project will support NASA design trade studies, system demonstrations, and eventual superconducting aircraft demonstrations. Other NASA applications include space applications such as cryogen liquefaction and storage for planetary and extraterrestrial exploration missions, CEVs, extended-life orbital transfer vehicles, in-space propellant depots and extraterrestrial bases. Terrestrial NASA applications include cooling for spaceport cryogen storage and transportation systems and for demonstration hydrogen production and transportation systems. The highly reliable and space-proven turbo-Brayton cryocooler is ideal for these applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary private application for this cryocooler is for cooling superconducting devices on electric aircraft once these aircraft are accepted in the commercial market. Other private sector applications include cooling for laboratory- and industrial-scale gas separation, liquefaction, cryogen storage and cryogen transportation systems; high-temperature superconducting magnets in motors and alternators; liquid hydrogen fuel cell storage for the automotive industry; and commercial orbital transfer vehicles and satellites.

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.


Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56