NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 A2.01-9150
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Materials and Structures for Future Aircraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Turbo-Brayton Cryocooler for Aircraft Superconducting Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Creare, Inc.
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 643-3800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Anthony J Dietz
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 640-2310

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Hybrid turboelectric aircraft with gas turbines driving electric generators connected to electric propulsion motors have the potential to transform the aircraft design space by decoupling power generation from propulsion. Resulting aircraft designs such as blended-wing bodies with distributed propulsion can provide the large reductions in emissions, fuel burn, and noise required to make air transportation growth projections sustainable. The power density requirements for these electric machines can only be achieved with superconductors, which in turn require lightweight, high-capacity cryocoolers. We have developed a Cryoflight turbo-Brayton cryocooler concept that exceeds the mass and performance targets identified by NASA for superconducting aircraft. In Phase I of this project, we extended our initial design study and developed modeling tools to support system-level optimization and individual component designs. We focused on the critical component for mass reduction – the recuperative heat exchanger – and performed risk reduction activities to demonstrate the feasibility of our concept for this component. In Phase II, we will design, build, and test two compact lightweight, high-performance recuperators for the Cryoflight cryocooler. This development effort will provide an enabling technology for the superconducting systems needed for hybrid turboelectric aircraft to be feasible.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed Cryoflight cryocooler development effort will support NASA's long-term goal to increase aircraft efficiency and reduce aircraft emissions and noise. By providing a cryocooler optimized to meet the aggressive power density target required for aircraft systems, we will remove a key obstacle hindering the development of superconducting aircraft. While such aircraft are still two or three decades from production, supporting technology development needs to begin now if such aircraft are to become a viable alternative to the aircraft configurations in production today. The results of this SBIR project will support NASA design trade studies, system demonstrations, and eventual superconducting aircraft demonstrations. Other NASA applications include space applications such as cryogen liquefaction and storage for planetary and extraterrestrial exploration missions, CEVs, extended-life orbital transfer vehicles, in-space propellant depots, and extraterrestrial bases. Terrestrial NASA applications include cooling for spaceport cryogen storage and transportation systems, and demonstrations of hydrogen production and transportation systems. The highly reliable and space-proven turbo-Brayton cryocooler is ideal for these applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High-temperature superconducting (HTS) materials have the potential to revolutionize the way we generate, transmit, and consume power. Transformational initiatives that rely on HTS technologies include power conditioning and power transmission systems, large-scale offshore wind turbines, high efficiency data centers, Navy ship systems, and turboelectric aircraft. While the latter is the target application for the proposed cryocooler, the other applications represent potential near-term markets for the technology. There is also a large potential market beyond HTS applications, including cooling for laboratory and industrial-scale gas separation, liquefaction, cryogen storage and cryogen transportation systems, liquid hydrogen fuel cell storage for the automotive industry, and commercial orbital transfer vehicles and satellites.

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

Form Generated on 11-06-12 18:12