NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X8.05-9883
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Power Conversion, Management, and Distribution (PMAD) for High Power Space Exploration Applications
PROPOSAL TITLE: High-Efficiency Reliable Stirling Generator for Space Exploration Missions

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Beck Engineering, Inc.
1490 Lumsden Road
Port Orchard, WA 98637 - 9719
(360) 876-9710

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Douglas S. Beck
1490 Lumsden Road
Port Orchard, WA 98637 - 9719
(360) 876-9710

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA needs advanced power-conversion technologies to improve the efficiency and reliability of power conversion for space exploration missions. We propose to develop a Stirling generator to meet NASA needs. Our Stirling generator adapts technology we have developed for high-reliability long-life (> 10 years) space-based Stirling-cycle cryocoolers and proprietary compressor and expander technology. Our compressor and expander technology enables near-isothermal compressions and expansions, which allow our Stirling generator to achieve a high percentage of the Carnot thermal efficiency. In Phase I, we will generate a preliminary design of our Stirling generator and project its efficiency. In Phase II, we will build and demonstrate a prototype Stirling generator and deliver the prototype to NASA for functional and environmental testing. In Phase III, we will build and sell Stirling generators for many government and private-sector applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The high reliability and high efficiency of our Stirling generator will enable our Stirling generator to meet NASA needs for advanced power conversion technologies for high power space exploration applications. Also, NASA needs high-efficiency space nuclear power systems for space electric propulsion and surface power systems in support of human missions. Nuclear systems are anticipated to enable effective long surface stay crew habitation and operations, long-range surface mobility and planetary cargo transfer. Initial planetary outpost power levels are anticipated to be between 30-50 kWe with anticipated growth to 100's kWe. Additionally, space nuclear electric propulsion will require technologies capable of effective and efficient multi-hundred kilowatt systems. Technology performance goals include; reducing overall system mass, volume, radiator area with reduced cost and increased safety and reliability. NASA needs high-efficiency (> 20%), compact, lightweight, and reliable power conversion with heat-source temperatures in the range 900 to 1100 K. Our compact, lightweight, and reliable Stirling generator will meet NASA needs for space nuclear power systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There is a large market for our Stirling generator for hybrid vehicles. Our Stirling generator uses large pressure amplitudes and a high operating frequency to produce a compact power-dense unit. With a high power density, material costs are low, so our Stirling generator will have low costs when it is mass-produced. Our proprietary compressor and expander technology will give our Stirling generator for hybrid vehicles a high efficiency. Our Stirling generator can easily be coupled with a burner that has the ability to burn multiple alternative fuels. Our Stirling generator is quiet, which is important for automotive applications. Our Stirling generator is attractive as a backup power generator for residential and commercial applications. The quiet operation of our Stirling generator makes it especially attractive for this application. There are many military applications that could benefit from a miniaturized version of our Stirling generator (a "micro-Stirling generator"). For example, the Army needs a compact, lightweight, and efficient electrical generator to couple with burners the Army is currently developing for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and unattended sensor systems. Our micro-Stirling generator will meet needs for a compact, lightweight, and efficient electrical generator.

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.)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)
Vehicles (see also Autonomous Systems)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12