NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 X4.06-9326
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Composite Structures - Manufacturing
PROPOSAL TITLE: Advanced Composite Thrust Chambers for the Altair Lunar Lander

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 851-7653

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Angela Hattaway
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 256-7653

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Radiation-cooled, bipropellant thrusters are being considered for the Ascent Module main engine of the Altair Lunar Lander. Currently, iridium-lined rhenium combustion chambers are the state-of-the-art for radiatively cooled thrusters. To increase the performance of radiation-cooled engines, improved chamber materials are needed that will allow higher operating temperatures, better resistance to oxidation, and reduce mass. During this effort, an innovative composite thrust chamber is being developed that will incorporate advanced ceramic oxide and iridium liner techniques as well as replacing the expensive, high density rhenium with a low mass carbon-carbon composite. The Phase I results have demonstrated the potential of combining innovative fabrication techniques to produce an advanced ceramic-Ir lined C-C thrust chamber. Hot gas testing has shown the ability of the ceramic oxide coating to reduce the exterior temperature of the C-C jacket, which will enable the use of higher temperature propellants for improved performance. No damage was observed in the ceramic-Ir liner as a result of hot gas testing. During Phase II, the techniques will be optimized to allow fabrication of a 3000 lbf chamber that will be delivered to NASA-MSFC for hot-fire testing.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
PPI's targeted NASA application is for the Altair Ascent Module main engine. Other NASA applications include in-space propulsion components for apogee insertion, attitude control, orbit maintenance, repositioning of satellites/spacecraft, reaction control systems, and descent/ascent engines, nuclear power/propulsion, oxygen generators, and lunar regolith processing.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Both government and commercial entities in the following sectors use advanced high-temperature materials for the following applications: coatings, defense, material R&D, nuclear power, aerospace, propulsion, automotive, electronics, crystal growth, and medical. PPI's targeted commercial applications include net-shape fabrication of refractory and platinum group metals for rocket nozzles, crucibles, heat pipes, and propulsion subcomponents; and advanced coating systems for x-ray targets, sputtering targets, turbines, rocket engines, wear and thermal/electrical insulation.

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.

Micro Thrusters
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Thermal Insulating Materials

Form Generated on 08-03-09 13:26