NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 O2.02-8034
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Propulsion Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Dual Use Catalytically Initiated Combustor (CIC) for Rocket Engine Ignition and Thruster Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
238 Business Pk. Blvd. Bldg 23B Suite J
Madison, AL 35758 - 7552
(256) 461-8522

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Greg Saks
238 Business Pk Blvd, Bdg 23B Suite J
Madison, AL 35758 - 7552
(256) 461-8522 Extension :109

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This proposal responds to subtopic O2.02 "Propulsion Technologies" and the stated need to develop component technologies that will lead to future propulsion systems that are reliable and have adequate performance without requiring excessive specialized handling equipment and procedures or needing to push materials and designs to the limits of their capabilities. We propose the development of a low part count and low energy Catalytically Initiated Combustor (CIC) that can serve as a rocket engine igniter as well as the basis for a family of low cost and highly reliable launch vehicle and satellite thrusters. We propose a 6-month Phase I program to 1) demonstrate reliable ignition and operation of our baseline CIC with hydrogen, methane, and propane fuels, 2) demonstrate reliable ignition and operation of our baseline CIC under cold gas inlet conditions, 3) demonstrate extended duration hot fire testing and durability of our CIC design over multiple ignition cycles, and 4) demonstrate rapid pulsed operation necessary for a launch vehicle or space craft thruster application. Under our proposed Phase I effort, we will also conduct a market survey of potential customers and define a flight weight CIC with maximum commercial utility as either an igniter or small thruster.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our CIC technology will compete effectively with more conventional spark, pyrophoric liquid, and laser ignition systems, because it uses less complex hardware and electronic systems, operates over a broader range of temperature, pressure, and mixture ratios commensurate with deep-throttling engine requirements. In addition, a catalytic igniter system is virtually maintenance-free. The primary NASA applications for the CIC technology will be ignition systems for future booster or in-space engines and low cost, reliable thrusters on future launch vehicles and spacecraft.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The attributes of the CIC that will make it an attractive alternative to state-of-the-art ignition and thruster systems for NASA commercial applications also apply to non-NASA launch vehicle and satellite providers. Successful completion of Phase II and a potential NASA use of the CIC technology will virtually assure adoption by non-NASA launch and satellite providers on future systems. Near term, we also see a potential market for the CIC as a laboratory scale combustor to support advanced propellant, propulsion, sensor, and health management related technology development.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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 Engine/Booster
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12