NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 O2.01-8344
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Nano/Small Sat Launch Vehicle Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Alternative Hydrocarbon Propulsion for Nano / Micro Launch Vehicle

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Garvey Spacecraft Corporation
389 Haines Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90814 - 1841
(562) 498-2984

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Christopher M Bostwick
389 Haines Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90814 - 1841
(661) 547-9779

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The technical innovation proposed here is the application of an alternative hydrocarbon fuel – densified propylene, in combination with liquid oxygen (LOX) – that has the potential to enhance the performance of a proposed Nano / Micro Launch Vehicle (NMLV) enough such that a simple two-stage, pressure-fed configuration will be sufficient for orbital missions. Besides eliminating the third stage, the absence of turbopumps reduces hardware costs, improves overall system reliability and simplifies engine start-up. This project addresses Section 1.2.5 of the Technology Area 1 Roadmap as it raises the TRL of both a non-toxic alternative hydrocarbon fuel (propylene) and also propellant densification (subcooling propylene) to increase vehicle mass fraction performance. Programmatic innovation makes it possible to bring this propulsion technology to a TRL of 6 by the end of Phase II in the form of a 5K lbf-LOX/propylene first stage engine. This will be accomplished by leveraging an ongoing NMLV development program that has already produced a flight-proven LOX/ethanol 4.5K lbf-thrust engine that features a long-duration silica-phenolic ablative chamber.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Low-cost, two-stage dedicated NMLV for ELaNA-class academic CubeSat missions needing delivery of 10 kg to 250 kg circular orbits;

Enhanced NMLV featuring a clustered set of booster stages for larger nanosat (20 kg) payloads that require circular orbits on the order of 450 km

Deep space missions and planetary landers requiring higher performance chemical propulsion and for which propylene would be a storable fuel because of low environmental temperatures

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial imaging constellations that require dedicated NMLV service to achieve total control over trajectories and schedules

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
Launch Engine/Booster
Space Transportation & Safety
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43