NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 O2.04-8581
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Composite Tank and Materials Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Cryogenic Composite Tank Fabrication for Reusable Launch Vehicles

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
XCOR Aerospace
1314 Flight Line
Mojave, CA 93501 - 1163
(661) 824-4714

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeff Greason
PO Box 1163
Mojave, CA 93502 - 1163
(661) 824-4714 Extension :111

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
XCOR has conducted extensive research and development, and material characterization analysis of a nonflammable, high-strength, lightweight thermoplastic fluoropolymer composite material, trademarked NonburniteTM, which is suitable for making reusable, reliable, low cost cryogenic tanks and structures for space flight service. XCOR's composite material is lighter than metal, and unlike graphite/epoxy, nonflammable. The material is immune to microcracking, has a low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), and is capable of withstanding hundreds of cryogenic temperature cycles. Additionally, it is durable, repairable, and can withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures. The fluoropolymer composite maintains strength and flexibility at extreme temperatures (-260 to plus 280 degrees C/-436 to plus 536 degrees F).Low CTE also allows this composite to be built into a vehicle's primary structure. Used as the internal skin in a sandwich structure (Nonburnite, foam, and carbon/epoxy) the composite skin-foam-skin material provides both thermal insulation and structure.
These features, along with the high strength-to-weight ratio, make it an enabling technology for building lighter, highly reusable, and more robust propellant tanks, thus reducing need for maintenance between flights. Further, XCOR believes significant commercialization opportunities exist for the material after its manufacturing processes have matured.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This proposed effort has particular relevance to several key programs at NASA. First, the Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD) provides a foundation of science and technology for many aspects of manned and robotic space travel and payloads ranging from micro satellites to manned systems. The pursuit of high reliability, safety and affordability is clearly relevant as it applies to NonburniteTM and SOMD's objectives. The use of a human rated (nonflammable) cryogenically capable, reliable, high strength, low weight composite structures could save significant weight throughout the Orion and Heavy Lift Crew Exploration vehicle programs. The Human Research Program (HRP) seeks to perform advanced high risk technology development in support of human exploration systems. The fundamental nature of Nonburnite also has particular potential relevance to HRP. Finally, the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) at Langley Research Center (LaRC) has a mission to look at advanced technology insertion into space vehicle programs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
XCOR believes there are significant commercialization opportunities for the material once manufacturing processes are matured. NonburniteTM is suitable for lightweight, linerless oxygen-compatible tanks for propulsion, fuel cell, life support, and related infrastructure applications, including aircraft cargo hold structures and containers, high and low temperature environments where flammability is of concern, and large volume commercial or retail applications such as in home oxygen tanks that are lighter weight and easier to maneuver by typically elderly or infirm users.

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.)
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Processing Methods
Space Transportation & Safety
Vehicles (see also Autonomous Systems)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12