NASA SBIR 2018-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 18-1- Z2.01-1474
 Thermal Management
 Toxicity Mitigating Single-Fluid Cooling System for Manned Spacecraft
SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place
Rockledge , FL 32955-5327
(321) 631-3550

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Joshua Sole
200 Yellow Place Rockledge, FL 32955 - 5327
(321) 631-3550

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael Rizzo
200 Yellow Place Rockledge, FL 32955 - 5327
(321) 631-3550
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 1
End: 3
Technical Abstract

The thermal control systems (TCS) for manned spacecraft are typically two-loop designs where a low freezing point single-phase liquid is used exterior to the manned vessel to reject heat through the radiator array, and a single-phase thermal loop inside the manned vessel that uses a non-toxic liquid is used for payload cooling and space conditioning. As an example, the Orion TCS uses HFE-7200 liquid (-138°C pour point) in the radiators, and PGW in the manned cabin. These loops interface through a shared heat exchanger that is external to the manned vessel to ensure that the working fluid for the external loop cannot leak into the manned cabin. This architecture is necessary for crew safety (most very low freezing point fluids are somewhat toxic or untested) but comes with a mass penalty due to the duplicity of prime movers (pumps), mass of the intermediate heat exchanger, and extra radiator surface area to account for the additional temperature delta required for the intermediate heat exchange process.

The two-loop mass penalty is a driving force toward reducing the TCS to a single working fluid. However, the toxicity risk must be mitigated for this architecture to be realized. Mainstream proposes to replace the two loop TCS architecture with a single loop TCS architecture that has toxicity mitigating technology.

Potential NASA Applications

NASA applications for the proposed toxicity mitigating thermal control system include future Orion-like manned missions and Deep Space Gateway and Transport missions. Any manned space vehicle would benefit from the expected weight and crew safety advantage offered by the innovative thermal control system proposed.

Potential Non-NASA Applications

Non-NASA applications for the proposed technology include any manned space vehicle launch for exploration or tourism purposes. The European Space Agency has an aggressive interest in a moon landing in the near future. Additionally, non-government commercial entities such as Space-X, Blue Origin, Bigelow Aerospace, and others include space tourism as a future goal.

Form Generated on 05/25/2018 11:56:48