NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 H2.04-9273
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) Ground Test Technologies

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orbital Technologies Corporation
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717 - 1961
(608) 827-5000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ronald R. Teeter
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717 - 1961
(608) 229-2740

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Eric E. Rice
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717 - 1961
(608) 229-2804

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 6

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)
In this project Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) will utilize its unique vortex propulsion technology to develop a high-capacity heating system to heat hydrogen to extremely high temperature levels. The heated hydrogen is to be used for test purposes for nuclear rocket propulsion simulations and total exhaust recovery applications. Our vortex rocket propulsion system is able to reliably and repeatedly operate at very high levels of reliability and operating temperature. This has been demonstrated through a large number of tests conducted over more than a decade using many different propellant combinations and engine sizes. The ORBITEC Vortex is an ideal thermal energy source for the needed hydrogen heating application. In phase 1, two hydrogen heating system concepts (based on the vortex approach) will be analyzed. Basic breadboard systems will be constructed and tested.and evaluated. The feasibility of extended duration hot hydrogen production will be demonstrated. In phase 2/3, a larger operational system will be developed, tested, delivered, and installed at the NASA Stennis Space Center.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA has identified solid core nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) as an advanced propulsion concept which could provide the fastest trip times with fewer SLS launches than any other propulsion concept for human missions to Mars over variety of missions in years. The current NASA strategic space technology investment plan states NTP is a high-priority technology needed for future human exploration of Mars. The success of NTP development is dependent upon the establishment of safe environmentally acceptable test facilities and operations. The test infrastructure must include the capability to produce extended duration flows of non-nuclear hot hydrogen. Our proposed project addresses this need.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The NASA development of safe NTP space transportation systems could lead to a variety of applications. Included may be commercial ventures to Mars and other extraterrestrial bodies for resource recovery and other opportunities. In addition, the military may very well be interested in the robust performance capabilities of NTP. Also, the ability to produce extended duration hot gas flows will provide a very valuable test capability for a wide variety of industrial applications such as testing of high temperature materials/components for gas turbines and even for nuclear power generation plants.

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.)
Coatings/Surface Treatments
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Heat Exchange
Launch Engine/Booster
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37