NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 O2.03-8067
SUBTOPIC TITLE: 21st Century Spaceport Ground Systems Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low Cost, High Efficiency, Pressurization System for Responsive Launch Operations

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
K T Engineering Corporation
238 Business Park Boulevard, Building 23B Suite J
Madison, AL 35758 - 7553
(256) 461-8522

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dave Sisk
238 Business Park Boulevard, Building 23B Suite J
Madison, AL 35758 - 7553
(256) 461-8522

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
KT Engineering (KTE) is pleased to submit this proposal to address the stated need for "innovative solutions that will allow spaceport launch service providers to operate in an efficient, low cost manner and increases capabilities associated with integration, checkout, and preparations required to configure and ready space systems for launch." We propose to conduct research and demonstrate feasibility of a novel launch vehicle pressurization system concept that will increase performance and reliability compared with traditional approaches, reduce dependence upon helium up to 50%, enable the use of low-cost commercial off the shelf technology, and demonstrate the automated ground processing associated with this technology. Our innovation is based on five major technology and operational elements including: 1) Tridyne Pressurant, 2) Distributed Storage and Control, 3) Cold Gas Storage / Warm Gas Delivery, 4) Bang-Bang Pressure Control, and 5) End-of-burn Tank Pressure Decay. Pump-fed launch vehicles will benefit from our innovative concept but the most significant benefits are achieved in cost-optimized pressure-fed systems such as KT Engineering's Radially Segmented Launch Vehicle (RSLV). We propose a six month Phase I program to refine the designs of the critical ground and airborne elements of this distributed pressurization system. We intend to demonstrate feasibility and more accurately quantify the benefits of our approach through analytical modeling, preliminary design, and high-flow, high-pressure testing of a prototype Tridyne catalytic reactor. The product of this effort will be engineering analysis and models, presentation materials from major reviews, a comprehensive final report, and our Phase II proposal. Under Phase II we will proposed to demonstrate design and operation of the ground and airborne elements of our pressurization system through prototype hardware fabrication and testing in the NASA KSC Launch Equipment Test Facility (LETF).

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed low cost, high efficiency, pressurization system will facilitate NASA vehicle launch operations and increase turnaround times by reducing the complexity of the ground-based processing system used to prepare the vehicle-based pressurization system for launch. The interoperability and ease-of-use of the system are such that all launch systems, including pump and pressure fed liquid engine systems will benefit. The proposed system will significantly reduce dependence on increasingly scarce helium, by up to 50% over current systems, thereby reducing mission risk as reliance on helium availability is reduced.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In the same way that the proposed pressurization system will facilitate NASA vehicle launch operations and increase turnaround times, the proposed system will be applicable to non-NASA launch vehicle operators including the DOD and commercial providers, supporting multiple concurrent operations and de-coupling launch processing from other range users. Application of the concept to Non-NASA launch operations will decrease to an even greater extent dependence on helium.

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.)
Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing
Launch Engine/Booster
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Process Monitoring & Control
Simulation & Modeling
Space Transportation & Safety

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43