NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 S3.02-9111
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Thermal Control Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Integrated Composite - Heatpipe Radiator Panel

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
k Technology Corporation
2000 Cabot Blvd. West, Ste. 150
Langhorne, PA 19047 - 2411
(215) 375-3035

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mark J. Montesano
2000 Cabot Blvd. West, Ste. 150
Langhorne, PA 19047 - 2411
(631) 285-6580

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A major objective of the NASA science spacecraft systems development programs is to implement science measurement capabilities using small affordable spacecrafts. High conductivity materials to minimize temperature gradients and provide high efficiency radiators and heat spreader panels are required to meet this objective. Under this proposed effort, kTC will develop a high performance thermal distribution panel (TDP) concept. The panel will be fabricated with a high conductivity macro composite skin and in situ heat pipes. The processing technologies proposed to build such a panel can also be used to produce this panel with high structural stiffness, similar to aluminum honeycomb type structure currently in use. This advanced TDP material concept will have high conductance the will obviate the need for attached bulky metal thermal doublers and heat pipe saddles. The conductivity of the proposed material system can be configured to exceed 800 W/mK with a mass density below 2.5 g/cm3. This material can provide efficient conductive heat transfer between the in situ heat pipes permitting the use of thinner panel thicknesses further reducing the mass of this critical spacecraft subsystem. This concept will also obviate reliability challenges due to CTE mismatch between structures and the heat pipes. In the Phase I program, kTC will produce prototypes employing the proposed TDP concept. In Phase II, in conjunction with kTC's Tier I team members, the qualification and integration of the concept into spaceflight hardware will be pursued.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary targeted applications within NASA is for combined thermal/ structural components on satellite spacecraft including radiator panels. Additional applications include Orion thermal distribution panels, lunar surface power radiators, and several unmanned JPL missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL).

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology developed under this proposed effort will have direct application in myriad space platforms beyond NASA. These include DoD and commercial satellite structures. kTC is working with several of the major satellite manufacturers so enable this transition. Beyond space platforms, the technology will have broad application for high performance thermal cooling to increase the range and use of heatpipe based solutions. These include airborne electronics and radar systems. In addition, since the technology can be applied to loop heat pipes and heat exchangers, as well, the benefits will extend to a range of industrial applications like high power work station farms in need of more efficient cooling to reduce HVAC costs - a critical and growing priority in industry.

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.

Launch and Flight Vehicle

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