NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X2.01-8877
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Earth-to-Orbit Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE: Development of Engine Loads Methodology

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ATA Engineering, Inc.
11995 El Camino Real
San Diego, CA 92130 - 2566
(858) 480-2000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Eric L Blades
127 Appleton Lane
Madison, AL 35756 - 4163
(256) 325-1116

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
This SBIR seeks to improve the definition of design loads for rocket engine components such that higher performing, lighter weight engines can be developed more quickly. The long-term goal of this SBIR program is to substantially improve the overall load determination by demonstrating and validating new methods. The overall plan includes advances in computational fluid mechanics to provide more accurate tools for estimating the nozzle side loads and fluctuating pressure loads as well as the interaction between system models and components models and the combination of dynamic loads for prediction of component margins and life. The Phase I detailed development includes a tightly-integrated coupling of computational fluid dynamics and structural dynamics codes to better predict the nozzle side loads due to flow separation. In addition, improvements will be identified to both the loads process and the combination of dynamic loads in the time domain to support finite fatigue life predictions. These improvements to the loads definition will provide an improvement to the engine development process by providing better loads estimations which can be used to reduce conservatism and to significantly improve performance with reduced weight, cost, and development time. Phase II will include efforts to validate the fluid-structure interaction tool with experimental data and further develop and validate the new loads process methodologies.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA's next generation launch systems require propulsion systems that deliver high thrust-to-weight ratios, increased trajectory averaged specific impulse, reliable overall vehicle systems performance, low recurring costs, and other innovations required to achieve cost and crew safety goals. The methods identified in this SBIR program for improvement to the loads definition provide an immediate opportunity to improve the engine development process by providing better loads estimations which can be used to reduce conservatism and to significantly improve performance with reduced weight, cost, and development time. With validated computation FSI capabilities and loads methodologies, the rocket engine community could apply these methods with confidence in future engine programs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The current trend is for access to space to become an increasingly commercial venture. These tools and methods developed as part of this SBIR program will support commercialization of the rocket development industry. In order to develop engines and spacecraft at more competitive prices, the development time must be shortened and thus advancements in design tools and methods are required. For companies who have a long history of developing engines for NASA, there are well established methods and means for design validation of rocket engines. However, it is difficult to make changes to these established methods and adopt advanced simulation approaches without the perception of increased risk. This SBIR program will help provide the credibility to validate advanced loads and analysis tools to allow rocket development to proceed at a commercially competitive pace while still tapping the vast experience and expertise existing at companies, such as PWR, that are so important to U.S. ability to compete in world markets. It is believed that this project will help to increase the competitiveness of U.S. engine development teams of which ATA hopes to continue to serve in an expanding way thus creating an increase in the ATA services and tools development businesses.

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.)
Analytical Methods
Atmospheric Propulsion
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Simulation & Modeling
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)
Verification/Validation Tools

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12