NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 Z10.01-9245
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Fluid Management
PROPOSAL TITLE: Multi-Environment MLI: Novel Multi-functional Insulation for Mars Missions

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Quest Thermal Group
6452 Fig Street Unit A
Arvada, CO 80004 - 1060
(303) 395-3100

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Scott A Dye
6452 Fig St., Unit A
Arvada, CO 80004 - 1060
(303) 395-3100 Extension :102

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Alan Kopelove
6452 Fig Street Unit A
Arvada, CO 80004 - 1060
(303) 395-3100 Extension :101

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Cryogenic Fluid Management 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)
Human exploration requires advances in cryogenic propellants for missions to Earth orbit, cis-lunar, Mars and beyond. NASA is interested in improving thermal insulation for future Mars missions, including Evolvable Mars Campaign, Mars Landers and Mars ISRU cryogenic fuel storage on Mars surface. Cryogenic propellants have the highest energy density of any chemical rocket fuel, propel most NASA and commercial launch vehicles, and would be used for Mars Lander EDL/ascent. Cryogenic propellants require good thermal insulation. Improvements in propellant storage and transfer are a critical need for future NASA missions, with zero boil off of cryogenic propellant an important goal. High performance insulation is needed for future Mars missions to store liquid methane obtained from the Mars regolith and stored on Mars surface. Quest Thermal Group proposes to design and develop an innovative, lightweight thermal insulation system, designed to perform and insulate cryogenic propellants in multiple environments, such as in-air on Earth prelaunch and launch ascent, in-space cruise phase, on-Mars surface and during Mars Lander ascent.

Multi-Environment MLI (MEMLI) is a novel multi-functional thermal insulation system that uses a ventable/sealable, lightweight supported vacuum shell, integrated and supported by Load Bearing MLI layers specifically tuned for Mars atmosphere. MEMLI will be engineered to provide high performance in-air, in-space and on-Mars, could provide <130 W/m2 in-air, <0.25 W/m2 in-space, <0.75 W/m2 on Mars surface with a robust, lightweight system with a mass about 1 kg/m2.

Phase I goals are to develop a new high performing insulation structure capable of supporting Mars missions and prove feasibility of the MEMLI concept for future NASA programs. A MEMLI prototype will be modeled, designed, built and tested for thermal performance in multiple environments.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Multi-Environment MLI (MEMLI) might be the best thermal control system for Mars missions, capable of providing high thermal performance for all Mars mission phases, including in-air, in-space and on-Mars operation. Successful testing of MEMLI might lead to a commercially ready product from Quest Thermal and Ball Aerospace for future infusion into new NASA missions or vehicles, such as Evolvable Mars Campaign, Mars Lander or for Mars ISRU cryogen storage and preservation.

The NASA In-Space Propulsion Systems Roadmap, April 2012, calls "Zero Boil Off storage of cryogenic propellants for long duration missions" the #2 ranked technical challenge for future NASA missions. The NASA Thermal Management Systems Roadmap (April 2012) states "performance and efficiency of cryogenic systems will have to significantly increase in order to enable the missions being considered over the next 20 years" [Ref 2]. It also states "New materials capable of ascent venting without performance loss or physical damage must be developed and demonstrated". The Roadmap further indicates "insulation schemes effective during ground and ascent phases while still offering optimal performance for long duration on orbit storage are needed".

MEMLI may have numerous advantages for future NASA missions and needs. The multi-functionality and high performance in various environments could be applicable to various missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Quest Thermal Group, and our partner in the aerospace market Ball Aerospace, continue to work diligently to promote and get infused our new technologies. IMLI will fly on the Ball Aerospace/NASA Green Propellant Infusion Mission, IMLI will fly on a Remote Refueling Mission 3 experiment on the Station, we continue to work with ULA on getting several new technologies on on-ramps to new launch vehicles, and the same effort to interest Boeing with our launch vehicle systems for SLS. Clearly, an insulation system designed for outstanding performance on Mars will have limited non-NASA use, although, perhaps one day commercial launch providers such as SpaceX might also benefit from this technology.

Several aerospace prime contractors are now following with interest Quest and Ball Aerospace development of IMLI and related insulation systems. Use of a high performance VCMLI system to replace SOFI would be of interest enabling improved payload capacity in cryogenic upper stages, such as Vulcan ACES and SLS cryogenic upper stage development. LRMLI has strong application for insulating LH2 tanks for High Altitude Long Endurance UAVs, with discussions with Boeing regarding use on Phantom Eye.

IMLI and derivatives might be able to provide improved thermal insulation for storage and preservation of cryogens for a wide variety of industrial uses, such as insulation for dewars for LHe, LH2, LN2 and LOX, for commercial, medical, industrial and research uses.

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.)
Active Systems
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Isolation/Protection/Shielding (Acoustic, Ballistic, Dust, Radiation, Thermal)
Passive Systems
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Smart/Multifunctional Materials

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59