NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X7.01-9519
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Storage for Space Exploration Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE: A High Fidelity Computational Tool for Modeling Thermal Vent Systems in Cryogenic Tanks

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Combustion Research and Flow Technology
6210 Keller's Church Road
Pipersville, PA 18947 - 1020
(215) 766-1520

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ashvin Hosangadi
6210 Keller's Church Road
Pipersville, PA 18947 - 1020
(215) 766-1520

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 2 to 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Control and management of cryogenic propellant tank pressures in low gravity is an important technical challenge to overcome for future long duration space missions. Heat leaking into the propellant tanks leads to self-pressurization of the tank due to vaporization. Advanced techniques such as thermodynamic vent systems (TVS) are currently being designed for low-gravity space systems. However, these systems are more complex to analyze and system level tools based on lumped, homogeneous models are inadequate for determining sensitivities to multi-dimensional fluid transport and dispersed multi-phase effects. The innovation proposed here is a comprehensive, CFD framework to support analyses of cryogenic tank management systems that will incorporate both real-fluid equations of state for cryogenic fluid mixtures with rigorous fluid property definitions, as well as an advanced dispersed phase spray model that permits non-equilibrium drag and heat transfer with the surrounding continuum fluid. The proposed effort will evaluate various sub-models for the vaporization/condensation of the cryogenic fluid droplets in an environment that includes a mixture of vapor and non-condensable gas. This technology will impact cryogenic systems for long duration space exploration activities.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The end-product will be a high-fidelity, numerical simulation software (CRUNCH CFDREG code) that would be used as a design support tool for the efficient management of cryogenic propellants in both upper-stage and space exploration systems. Our product addresses core needs of NASA's longer term vision for the mission to Mars and other space exploration activities that are of long duration. The more advanced and efficient cryogenic propellant management techniques being developed such as thermal vent systems (TVS) are not amenable to analysis by simpler system level tools since they are governed by the physics of multi-dimensional, mixing and other fluid dynamic effects such as liquid break-up and droplet formation. Hence the higher-fidelity models being developed here would address this deficiency and impact cryogenic systems for space transportation orbit transfer vehicles, space power systems, spaceports, lunar habitation systems all of which are required to deal with long term cryogenic storage issues.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The commercial market for our product includes industries dealing with liquefied gases who would be interested in more efficient and cost effective methods for long term storage and transportation of cryogenic liquids; with the immense interest in hydrogen as a green fuel we foresee increased opportunities. It is also relevant to the petroleum industry where liquefied natural gas use is increasing and safety issues with tankers and LNG terminals are important. The broader technology of multi-phase, spray modeling has wide applications as a fundamental technology for a wide array of industries including the chemical process industry, ink-jet printers, and fluidized bed among others. In addition to these traditional markets, commercial space ventures ranging from space transportation systems (COTS) for the international space station (ISS), to low-cost satellite launch systems are getting an infusion of venture capital and would be receptive to accurate simulation tools for low gravity propellant storage management.

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
Fluid Storage and Handling
Liquid-Liquid Interfaces
Propellant Storage
Simulation Modeling Environment
Thermodynamic Conversion

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56