NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X3.04-9830
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Thermal Control Systems for Human Spacecraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: Variable Surface Area Thermal Radiator

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Connecticut Analytical Corporation
696 Amity Road
Bethany, CT 06524 - 3006
(203) 393-9666

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Joseph J Bango
696 Amity Road
Bethany, CT 06524 - 3006
(203) 393-9666 Extension :21

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Due to increased complexity of spacecraft and longer expected life, more sophisticated and complex thermal management schemes are needed that will be capable of dissipating a wide variety of heat loads under harsh operating conditions. An optimal thermal control system must effectively vary the amount of heat dissipation while at the same time not burdening the spacecraft by utilizing the extremely limited spacecraft resources, such as mass, volume, or power.
Several previous thermal control systems have successfully utilized movable louver and pinwheel type designs for enabling thermal control. Each type of louver system has the drawback of utilizing moving parts that can break or bind, and only enable course thermal control. A much better approach would be to have a conformal, flexible type louver system. The CAC system implements a variable thermal control system that consists of a thin membrane (< 1mm) that is comprised of a plurality of small electrostaticly operated "louvers" that can be adjusted to varying degrees of inclination for variable heat rejection. The flexible electrostatic variable emissivity louver membrane is not only extremely lightweight, but also has the added benefit of being completely conformal to a spacecraft surface.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Given more stringent requirements being placed upon new satellite and human inhabited spacecraft, thermal control systems are a major consideration and must be designed in such a way so as not to place a heavy burden upon available spacecraft resources.
Due to the unique flexible metalized insulating material conceived of for this NASA research, the manufacturing requirements will be greatly simplified compared to that of manufacturing traditional MEMs based devices. Because of the simplicity of the design, it is not beyond the scope of CAC's capability to manufacture hundreds of such flexible louver systems per month. The flexible conformal louver system consists of a simple metalized thin insulating sheet, with either stamped or laser cut flaps. CAC currently has produced far more complex oxygen monitors for GE Medical used in MRI's and has manufactured over 12,000 units used worldwide over a 15 year timeframe.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Several potential commercialization schemes may be possible for non-NASA applications. One potential commercial application is in the area of creating an adaptive, conformal array antenna. By adjusting individual louvers, a potentially steer-able or even phase adjustable antenna could be realized.
By placing the thin flexible membrane (without radiator) within the panes of a double pane high efficiency window, a variable emissivity reflector could be realized. If the insulating membrane is transparent, and the metal coating is thin enough, the flexible louver system can be made virtually transparent to visible light. By closing the electrostatic louver flaps during summer months, the incident solar radiation could be blocked from entering a dwelling. Likewise, during winter months, the electrostatic louvers could be opened to allow the lower winter sunlight into the dwelling. Connecticut Analytical has a long record (20+ years) of converting research into viable commercial products.

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.)
Passive Systems
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12