NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-2 S3.04-9213
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Propulsion Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Improved Rhenium Thrust Chambers for In-Space Propulsion

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Plasma Processes, LLC.
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 851-7653

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John Scott O'Dell
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 851-7653 Extension :104

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Radiation-cooled, bipropellant thrust chambers are being considered for the ascent/descent engines and reaction control systems for NASA missions such as Mars Sample Return and Orion MPCV. Currently, iridium-lined rhenium combustion chambers are the state-of-the-art for in-space engines. NASA's Advanced Materials Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine, a 150-lbf iridium-rhenium chamber produced by Plasma Processes and Aerojet, recently set a hydrazine specific impulse record of 333.5 seconds. To withstand the high loads during terrestrial launch, rhenium chambers with improved mechanical properties are needed. Recent EL-FormTM results have shown considerable promise for improving the mechanical properties of rhenium by producing a multi-layered deposit comprised of a tailored microstructure, i.e., Engineered Re. During Phase I, an AMBR size chamber was produced to demonstrate formation of the Engineered Re material in both the throat and barrel regions. Tensile tests showed the Engineered Re material had a yield strength greater than 40ksi at room temperature. In addition, Engineered Re deposits were produced on multiple mandrels at one time, i.e., multi-component process demonstration. During Phase II, the Engineered Re processing techniques will be optimized. Detailed characterization and mechanical properties test will be performed. Optimization of the multi-component fabrication technique will result in a 30% or higher reduction in chamber fabrication costs. The most promising techniques will be selected and used to produce an Engineered Re AMBR size combustion chamber for testing at Aerojet.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Targeted NASA applications are the ascent/descent engines and reaction control systems for missions such as the Mars Sample Return and Orion MPCV. Other NASA applications include in-space propulsion components for apogee insertion, attitude control, orbit maintenance, repositioning of satellites/spacecraft, reaction control systems, and descent/ascent engines, nuclear power/propulsion, microgravity containment crucibles and cartridges.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Both government and commercial entities in the following sectors use advanced high-temperature materials for the following applications: coatings, defense, material R&D, nuclear power, aerospace, propulsion, automotive, electronics, crystal growth, and medical. Targeted commercial applications include net-shape fabrication of refractory and platinum group metals for rocket nozzles, crucibles, heat pipes, and propulsion subcomponents; and advanced coating systems for x-ray targets, sputtering targets, turbines, rocket engines, wear and thermal/electrical insulation.

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.)
Coatings/Surface Treatments
Maneuvering/Stationkeeping/Attitude Control Devices
Processing Methods
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 12-15-11 17:36