NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 H2.04-9121
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) Ground Test Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Hydrogen Wave Heater for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Component Testing

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ACENT Laboratories LLC
3 Scott Lane
Manorville, NY 11949 - 2623
(631) 801-2616

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Robert P Kielb
3 Scott Lane
Manorville, NY 11949 - 2623
(352) 284-6223

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Randall Voland
3 Scott Lane
Manorville, NY 11949 - 2623
(757) 218-5561

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) Ground Test 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)
NASA has identified Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) as a propulsion concept which could provide the fastest trip times to Mars and as the preferred concept for human space travel. The current NASA Strategic Space Technology Investment Plan states NTP is a high priority technology needed for future human exploration of Mars. In order to perform component testing in support of NTP engine development, an efficient means for delivering high-flowrate, high-temperature hydrogen is required. Non-nuclear generation of the desired hydrogen flowrates and temperatures for ground test of NTP components and subsystems is problematic. ACENT Laboratories is proposing development Hydrogen Wave Heater (HWH) for this application. The HWH is an innovative embodiment of a wave rotor. Wave rotors can be used as a primary compressor/heater or as a topping compressor/heater to multiply the temperature and pressure of an existing compression or heating process. These highly-scalable continuous-flow devices are capable of flow rates upwards of 100 lb/s and temperatures over 5000 F.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The anticipated benefit of ACENT's Hydrogen Wave Heater (HWH) is to allow efficient, low cost component testing for the Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) program. The NTP program requirements for high flowrate (<60 lb/s) and high temperature (<4400 F) are problematic. The HWH will not only allow these conditions to be reached, but the device has room to grow if the program requirements change in the future.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Demonstration and development of a Hydrogen Wave Heater will lend itself to other applications where high-temperature, high-flowrate gases are needed. One area that has documented the need for this capability is hypersonics. The hypersonic community has identified high-enthalpy (high temperature) clean air ground test capability as an enabling technology for high speed vehicle system development. The work proposed here will lead directly to the ability to deliver continuous, high-enthalpy, clean test air that can simulate flight Mach numbers of 10 and higher. This capability, which does not currently exist, will enable the rapid development of high-speed air breathing propulsion systems by allowing representative ground testing to be performed.

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.)
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37