NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-2 H2.01-9033
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Fluid Management Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Reliable, Efficient Cryogenic Propellant Mixing Pump With No Moving Parts

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)
Weibo Chen
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 643-3800 Extension :2425

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert J Kline-Schoder
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755 - 3116
(603) 643-3800 Extension :2487

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Cryogenic Fluid Management Technologies is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Refueling spacecraft in space offers tremendous benefits for increased spacecraft payload capacity and reduced launch cost. However, there are several key challenges with space refueling associated with the storage and handling of liquid cryogens in space. To meet these challenges, we propose to develop a reliable, compact, efficient cryogenic mixing pump with no moving parts. The mixing pump will prevent thermal stratification of the cryogen and simplify pressure control for storage tanks. The mixing pump uses an innovative thermodynamic process to generate fluid jets to promote fluid mixing, eliminating the need for mechanical pumps. Our innovative mechanism will be able to self-prime and generate a high-pressure rise. The device will significantly enhance the reliability of pressure control systems for storage tanks. In Phase I, we demonstrated the feasibility of our approach through building and testing a proof-of-concept mixing pump, optimizing the mixing pump design by analysis, and developing a preliminary layout design of a prototype pump. In Phase II, we will build and test a laboratory-scale cryogenic mixing pump, demonstrate its performance in a representative cryogenic environment, and deliver the pump to a NASA research lab for further evaluation.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology developed in this project will enable reliable long-term and short-term cryogenic propellant storage in space for refueling. The mixing pump will enable effective pressure control for cryogenic tanks by maintaining a uniform fluid temperature. Its high reliability will significantly enhance the effectiveness of the pressure control mechanism. The device developed in this project can also be used as a two-phase cryogenic pump with no impellers or pistons to enable reliable cryogen transfer for space applications. The technology also has application in low-G propellant liquid mass gauging by serving as a reliable compression mass gauge.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology developed in this project has applications in reliable two-phase pumps for cryogenic fluids and refrigerant flows. Applications include cryogenic two-phase cooling systems for superconductors. The technology also has applications in thermal management systems for advanced electronics and photonics systems, as well as advanced environmental control systems for future military vehicles.

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

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