NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 S3.04-8539
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Propulsion Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Ionic Liquid, Nontoxic Monopropellants for Power-Limited Spacecraft

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Streamline Automation, LLC
3100 Fresh Way Southwest
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 6720
(256) 713-1220

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Roberto Di Salvo
3100 Fresh Way SW
Huntsville, AL 35805 - 6720
(256) 713-1220 Extension :604

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A key requirement of modern chemical energetic materials include enhanced performance, reduced sensitivities, and reduced toxicity. A class of compounds that meet these requirements is Ionic Liquids (ILs). The physicochemical properties of ILs enable their use in a variety of applications and energetic ionic liquids (EILs) is an area of intense research in the last decade.

C3 Propulsion proposes the study and development of advanced ionic liquid, non-toxic monopropellants featuring an innovative combination of anions and cations that will enable high duty cycle, extended operation of power-limited spacecraft.

This Phase I effort will demonstrate the feasibility of non-toxic monopropellants for power-limited spacecraft. This effort will build on a successful project that built and tested an on-demand EIL gas generator. The project will extend past work on non-toxic EIL monopropellants, test different anion/cation combinations to seeks optimization of the EIL, and conduct studies of the catalyst bed to identify the optimal distribution and modality.

In Phase II, the development and optimization of the EIL monopropellant system will continue. This will include targeting improvement of the flow control valves, propellant injectors, and thrust chamber catalyst bed design for use with the selected low toxicity monopropellant. Programmatically, there will be an aggressive push towards flight-like hardware to ensure rapid maturation of the technology in order to meet the NASA mission goals.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our goal is to develop a non-toxic, monopropellant system for power-limited spacecraft that is at TRL 6 at the end of Phase II. Our strategy to ensure mission pull involves teaming with Aerojet, a leading supplier of in-space propulsion products, early in the development process. This will ensure that the technology developed can be easily integrated within the current framework of the future missions of the Science Mission Directorate. Furthermore, we will adopt a rigorous process of design for reliability, maintainability, and supportability early in the development process to ensure a balance of performance with cost and robust operability. Upon successful completion of Phase I demonstration testing, C3 Propulsion will submit further patent applications for the innovative, Ionic liquid, nontoxic monopropellants for power-limited spacecraft.

Chemical propulsion will be the workhorse for NASA missions for many years to come and the proposed non-toxic monopropellant system technology can play an enabling role in future NASA Science Mission Directorate programs. The versatile multi-mission capabilities will make it applicable for a broad range of missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA applications include the potential for use on military platforms such as Kinetic Kill Vehicles (KKVs), as well as adaptation for commercial satellites using hypergolic propellants for orbital maneuvering and station keeping.

C3 Propulsion has working relationships with Aerojet, Orbitec, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman. We can work with them to establish a common set of requirements and system level characteristics to help us guide system design (with an effective NDA in place). Involvement of the Phase III customers in the early phase of the project will maximize technology transition potential. Moreover, to increase our technology transition potential we work with businesses specialized in SBIR technology transition like, Vital Strategies, LLC. Their brokerage services help align small business inventiveness with industry technology gaps as corporations make cost-effective responses to key national needs, as well as consumer needs.

C3 Propulsion actively protects developed Intellectual Property (IP) and works to maximize the potential impact of our commercialization efforts. We have retained a Patent Agent to ensure that our intellectual property (IP) and company trademarks are protected and can yield the maximum commercial benefit. For example, twenty-two patents have been filed with the U.S. Patent Office and are currently under evaluation.

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.)

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43