NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 H10.01-8857
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Purge Gas Recovery and Reclamation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Multi-Species Chemical Microsensor For Real Time Cryogenic Purge Line Monitoring

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Makel Engineering, Inc.
1585 Marauder Street
Chico, CA 95973 - 9064
(530) 895-2771

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Darby Makel PhD
1585 Marauder Street
Chico, CA 95973 - 9064
(530) 895-2771

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Darby Makel
1585 Marauder Street
Chico, CA 95973 - 9064
(530) 895-2771

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Cryogenic Purge Gas Recovery and Reclamation 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)
Makel Engineering, Inc. proposes to develop a miniaturized Multi-Species Chemical Microsensor Instrument suitable for real-time, in situ measurements of hydrogen or methane, oxygen, water vapor and mixture thermal conductivity for monitoring purge effectiveness in cryogenic propellant lines. Helium is a scarce, strategic and non-renewable natural resource. NASA is a major user of helium and significant future cost savings in operations can be realized with improved monitoring of purge activities. Without real time measurement of species being purged from systems, extended purge cycles and excess helium is used to ensure completely purged lines. The proposed sensor system will incorporate individual microsensor elements for key species. The sensors will be designed to be permanently installed in purge and vent lines at cryogenic propellant storage, transfer, test stand and launch facilities. The instrument package to be developed in the program will adapt low cost and low power chemical microsensor technology which was originally developed for leak detection applications and recently been demonstrated in proof of concept cryogenic vent tests at NASA. This program will develop a low cost, robust integrated sensor probe and electronics with data interfaces suitable for real time monitoring and control helium purge sequences to minimize overall helium usage.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary NASA application of the technology will be at propulsion test stands at NASA SSC and NASA Launch facilities at NASA KSC. The proposed sensor product would be used in systems for propellant storage, transfer and fueling operations. The use of these sensors would be part of an overall operation and maintenance strategy to reduce helium purge gas usage and reduce facility operating costs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial space transportation and spaceports will require operations to be highly automated and efficient to achieve the desired levels of cost effectiveness. The proposed MCMI will be immediately applicable to new facilities being planned and existing facilities undergoing modernization and upgrades. There is also a large opportunity for variations of the MCMI for monitoring a wide range of industrial processes such as gas-to-liquid plants using natural gas. Chemical processing and refining operations use purge gas systems with nitrogen during change over operations and maintenance cycles. Currently many industrial operations rely on personnel to do manual sampling and monitoring at various points in the system with portable analyzers during purge operations.

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.)
Chemical/Environmental (see also Biological Health/Life Support)
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Process Monitoring & Control
Processing Methods
Sensor Nodes & Webs (see also Communications, Networking & Signal Transport)

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37