NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 O2.02-9681
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Propulsion Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Hydrocarbon Leak Detection Sensor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Florida Turbine Technologies, Inc.
1701 Military Trail, Suite 110
Jupiter, FL 33458 - 7887
(561) 427-6337

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Elizabeth Garvin
EGarvin@fttinc.com
1701 Military Trail, Suite 110
Jupiter , FL 33458 - 7887
(561) 427-6279

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
FTT is proposing the development of a sensor to detect the presence of hydrocarbons in turbopump Inter-Propellant Seals (IPS). The purpose of the IPS is to prevent the fuel (RP-2) and oxidizer (LOX) from mixing by using an inert purge gas; however, a major risk of the IPS is RP-2 wicking into the buffer or LOX cavities, threatening ignition with the LOX. The proposed sensor will detect the presence of hydrocarbons and signal the health management system to safely shutdown. It will increase the reliability of the IPS, and decrease turnaround time between missions by eliminating the need for manual inspections for hydrocarbons in the IPS.
There are two main technical objectives for Phase I. First is to research and test various hydrocarbon indicators to determine which materials can detect the presence of hydrocarbons by either changing color or intensity. The second objective is to research and test various optical viewing devices and data processing devices to determine which mechanism can adequately capture the color or intensity change of the hydrocarbon indicator and signal that the change has occurred. The sensor will be comprised of the feasible components determined during Phase I, and tested in a rig in Phase II.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The hydrocarbon leak detection sensor is applicable to a RP-2/LOX turbopump. The sensor would detect if any RP-2 is wicking into the IPS buffer cavity, either during operation or between missions. This increases the reliability of the IPS, potentially preventing a catastrophic failure. The benefits of the sensor include providing real-time monitoring of the IPS, and recorded video to be watched as a post-test inspection, which decreases the vehicle turn-around-time by eliminating the need for manual inspections of the IPS prior to every flight. The sensor could also detect if the RP-2 has wicked between engine firings and signal that cleaning of the IPS is required before the next engine start. The sensor is at least partially reusable, with the optical viewing device, and may be entirely reusable depending on the type of hydrocarbon indicator material selected as a result of the Phase I testing.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

The hydrocarbon leak detection sensor can be used in any application involving hydrocarbons to prevent the risk of ignition due to a leak. Since RP-2 is a storable propellant and will not evaporate, unlike liquid Hydrogen or liquid Oxygen, the risk of RP-2 wicking is always present. Specifically, the hydrocarbon leak detection sensor could be used in the Hydrocarbon Boost (HCB) demonstrator engine currently being developed by FTT and Aerojet. Commercial rocket companies developing LOX/Kerosene engines would also benefit from this technology. Additionally, applications for this sensor could exist in the oil and gas industries.

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.)
Diagnostics/Prognostics
Launch Engine/Booster
Optical/Photonic (see also Photonics)
Spacecraft Main Engine


Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12