NASA SBIR 2012 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 12-2 H3.04-9801
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Thermal Control Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Self-Powered Magnetothermal Fluid Pump

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Prime Photonics, LC
1116 South Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060 - 5548
(540) 961-2200

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Gray
1116 South Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060 - 5548
(540) 808-4281

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steve Poland
1116 South Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060 - 5548
(540) 315-3649

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Thermal Control Systems 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)
Advances in the capabilities of electronics have enabled high power density devices. However, even in light of advances in electronics efficiency figures, the increased power density operational points result in the generation of excess heat. In order to maintain efficiency and to product sensitive components from thermally-induced failure, intelligent rejection of thermal energy is often a critically limiting constraint in system development. Novel concepts for thermal management are particular necessary in applications with finite energy stores, such as long-duration space missions. The Prime Photonics magnetothermal fluid pump provides for game-changing, autonomous self-powered thermal management systems.
Our self-powered pump converts excess thermal energy into point-of-use mechanical energy with a low mass insertion penalty. The operational frequency of the pump is proportional to the magnitude of the thermal gradient, supplying additional pump capacity in response to increased thermal loads.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Cubesat thermal management: For smaller craft thermal rejection or management requirements, a self-powered pump would allow for the design and implementation of systems that do not consume limited electrical power resources.
Remote sensor thermal management: The autonomous, self-powered pump scavenges all operational energy requirements from the thermal gradient under management, requiring neither electrical leads for device powering nor for any control signals.
Long duration lunar lander projects: Actively pump thermal management concepts for lunar lander missions have in general not been considered due to parasitic power consumption. The self-powered, autonomous capability of the magnetothermal fluid pump allows for advance heat spreading and alternative thermal management system design with no additional power consumption.
EVA or astronaut thermal control: Our technology can be tuned to operate with very small thermal gradient excitation with a wide range of absolute temperature ranges. As such, thermal management, including heat or cooling, could be powered through astronaut body heat, or scavenged thermal energy from avionics.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
High-density electronics cooling: With the exponential growth of cloud computing, social media, and internet commerce, large server farms are necessary to handle the vast data uploads and throughputs necessary maintain high bandwidth quality. Energy required to power thermal rejection technologies reduces profitability of companies, increases carbon footprints, and results in a reliance on grid power. The autonomous, self-powered magnetothermal pump proposed here would alleviate much of the costs associated with powering cooling systems, and with associated control systems.
Concentrated solar energy generation: Modern multi-junction silicon photovoltaics demonstrate efficiencies far beyond those available even several years ago. However, even at 20% efficiency, significant portions of the 1kW/m2 solar irradiation incident on the panels must be converted to heat. However, in order to operate at mutli-sun concentration, advanced heat rejection systems are required in order to maintain sufficiently low junction temperatures so as not to decrease quantum conversion efficiency with PVs. Often, the power required for active cooling cannot be offset economically through increases in PV output power. As such, typical concentrated solar arrays are passively cooled with pronounced fined aluminum heat sinks. The incorporation of a self-powered fluid pump would shift the optimization of the cooling system, allowing for further solar concentration with no added energy cost.

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.)
Active Systems
Actuators & Motors
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Avionics (see also Control and Monitoring)
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Essential Life Resources (Oxygen, Water, Nutrients)
Heat Exchange
Passive Systems
Sources (Renewable, Nonrenewable)

Form Generated on 03-04-14 13:38