NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-2 H8.02-9974
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Space Nuclear Power Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Titanium-Water Heat Pipe Radiator for Spacecraft Fission Power

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.
1046 New Holland Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17601 - 5688
(717) 295-6061

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William Anderson
1046 New Holland Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17601 - 5688
(717) 295-6104

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William Anderson
1046 New Holland Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17601 - 5688
(717) 295-6104

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Space Nuclear Power 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)
In this SBIR Phase II program Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) proposes to develop titanium/water heat pipes suitable for Spacecraft Fission Power applications. NASA is currently examining small fission power reactors design, such as the Kilopower, which aims to provide roughly 1 kW of electric power. Kilopower plans to use titanium/water heat pipes to remove the waste heat from the cold end of the convertors. Previous water heat pipe designs for space fission power are not suitable, since they cannot operated in a vertical orientation, which is necessary for ground testing of Kilopower. The overall objective of the Phase I and II programs is to develop a titanium/water heat pipe radiator suitable for Spacecraft Fission Power, such as Kilopower. To meet this objective, the following items must be achieved: demonstrate the ability to transport heat over a long distance from the Stirling cold end to the radiator, design and fabricate a heat pipe radiator for integration into the Kilopower system and identify the best wick design for the varied operating conditions of the Kilopower system. The principle objective of the Phase II project will be to develop full-scale titanium water heat pipes that will be suitable for testing in the Kilopower demonstration unit.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The immediate NASA application is for space fission nuclear reactors that utilize Stirling converters or thermoelectrics for power conversion. NASA Glenn Research Center is currently developing a 1kWe Fission Power System with a 15 year design life that could be available for a 2020. An electrically heated test of the complete reactor/energy conversion system (except for the titanium/water heat pipes) is planned for in the next few years test. This test will use an electrically heated depleted uranium core, and will help validate the overall system design. The next step will be to life test the complete system, from the electrically heated uranium core to the titanium/water heat pipes. ACT will design, fabricate, and test the titanium/water heat pipes for the Kilopower life test on the proposed program. At the end of the Phase II program, these heat pipes will be delivered to NASA Glenn Research Center. Assuming that the Phase II program is successful, ACT then plans to assist in the Kilopower life test on a Phase III program.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
One application is for satellite thermal control for military and commercial customers. As satellite powers continue to increase, the required radiator panel size and mass must also increase. Since the radiator size scales with T^4, switching from ammonia to water heat pipes would increase the allowable temperature, and significantly reduce the radiator size. In addition to large (communications) satellites, SmallSats and CubeSats could also benefit from scaled down heat pipes developed on the proposed program. CubeSats are made up of 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm units, and titanium/water heat pipes can simplify ground testing. There are three disadvantages of CCHPs for CubeSats: (1) They are relatively expensive, (2) They are relatively massive, and designed to carry heat over several meters, (3) Orientations during Thermal Vacuum testing are constrained by the heat pipes. In contrast, the titanium water heat pipes developed on the current program can be scaled down so that they are small, low mass, and relatively cheap. They can also be tested in any orientation, and can be embedded in High Conductivity (HiK™) aluminum plates, to give a high conductivity baseplate that is extremely inexpensive compared to pyrolytic graphite.

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.)
Passive Systems

Form Generated on 04-14-15 17:14