NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-2 S3.02-9803
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Propulsion Systems for Robotic Science Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE: Micropump for MON-25/MMH Propulsion and Attitude Control

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Flight Works, Inc.
17905 Sky Park Circle, Suite F
Irvine, CA 92614 - 6707
(949) 387-9552

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Nadim R Eid
17905 Sky Park Circle - Suite F
Irvine, CA 92614 - 6707
(949) 387-9552

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Eric Besnard
17905 Sky Park Circle, Suite F
Irvine, CA 92614 - 6707
(949) 387-9552

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Propulsion Systems for Robotic Science Missions 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)
Flight Works is proposing to expand its work in micro-gear-pumps for hypergolic and ?green? propellants in order to develop and demonstrate a micropump for MON-25 and mono methyl hydrazine (MMH) bipropellant thrusters. MON-25, with 25% of nitric oxide (NO) and 75% nitrogen tetroxide (NTO, N2O4), allows lowering the oxidizer freezing point to -55 C, which is a close match to that of the fuel, MMH (which is around -51 C). While toxic, this propellant combination is hypergolic and allows operations over a wide range of temperatures, particularly in extremely cold environments as those envisioned for many future missions.

For NASA deep space and Moon/Mars missions, such as lunar lander and Mars ascent vehicles, the introduction of a micropump in the propulsion system provides significant performance benefits. For missions with high delta-Vs, the system wet mass is greatly reduced, or at fixed total wet mass, scientific payload mass increases. For example, in the case of a lunar lander (delta-V > 3,000 m/s), a two-stage configuration can be replaced by a pump-fed single-stage system of the same mass while the pressure-fed would have to be larger.

Flight Works is proposing to develop and characterize micropumps suitable for 5 lbf and 100 lbf MMH/MON-25 thrusters. These will be used to perform pump-fed MMH/MON-25 hot-fire test demonstrations of the technology under representative environmental conditions in order to reach a TRL 6 by the end of Phase II.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology offers the means of improving propulsion systems to be used over a wider range of temperatures than what is currently available. The propellant combination MMH/MON-25 allows for operational temperatures as low as -50 C. These propellants, combined with electrically driven micropumps, provide increased mission flexibility and performance. Trade studies show that it can be an enabler. For example, a single-stage can be used instead of two-stages for the Lunar Geophysical Network, a candidate New Frontiers lunar lander mission. The micropump can also be used in MMH/MON-3 systems. With the reduced vapor pressure of MON-3 compared to that of MON-25, the propulsion system can be further transformed into a low-pressure, low cost, more compact and lighter system while allowing high performance thrusters. Studies conducted for another candidate New Frontiers mission, the Trojan Asteroid mission, show the possibility to increase scientific instrument mass by as much as 76% or more depending on the selected (low) tank pressure.

In general, the micropump technology has applications in any NASA mission with challenging propulsion needs: scientific missions going in or out of gravity wells, e.g. Moon landers, Mars ascent vehicles, or deep space missions to asteroids or comets.

Flight Work?s strategy is to work closely with propulsion system integrators during the development phases so as to transfer the technology into operational products.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology is applicable to propulsion systems in general, such as those on commercial spacecraft (e.g. telecommunications market), for DoD spacecraft and missiles including in Divert Attitude Control Systems, and to on-orbit propellant management.

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.)
Machines/Mechanical Subsystems
Maneuvering/Stationkeeping/Attitude Control Devices
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 03-10-16 12:21