NASA STTR 2020-II Solicitation

Proposal Summary

Proposal Information

Proposal Number:
20-2- T2.05-4812
Phase 1 Contract #:
Subtopic Title:
Advanced Concepts for Lunar and Martian Propellant Production, Storage, Transfer, and Usage
Proposal Title:
Design of Spray Cooling Systems for Chilldown of Propellant Tanks
Combustion Research and Flow Technology
6210 Keller's Church Road
Pipersville, PA  18947 - 1020
Phone: (215) 766-1520
2152 Hillside Road, Unit 3046
Storrs, CT  06269 - 3046
Phone: (860) 486-3622

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Dr. Vineet Ahuja
6210 Keller's Church Road, Pipersville, PA 18947 - 1020
(215) 766-1520

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Neeraj Sinha
6210 Keller's Church Road, Pipersville, PA 18947 - 1020
(215) 766-1520
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 1
End: 4
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

In-orbit cryogenic propellant transfer is a key enabling technology for future long duration space exploration missions. Tank chilldown will be one of the primary challenges to be overcome to achieve refueling in space.  It is envisioned that tank cooling will be facilitated by the use of spray injection nozzles, achieving high heat removal rates through phase change. Tank filling protocols such as charge-vent-hold and vented-chill-non-vented-fill are being investigated to improve the probability of successful refueling while minimizing propellant boil-off. In this collaborative effort between the Univ of Connecticut and CRAFT Tech, experimental visualization and diagnostic measurements of a sub-scale tank are being used to understand the complex heat-transfer interaction modes between the spray and the ullage as well as the spray and the tank walls.  Validation datasets are being collected and used in the development of a specialized spray cooling models within a comprehensive high-fidelity Multiphysics simulation framework. The simulation framework can be used for design support, analyzing tank filling protocols and prediction of chilldown times and propellant loss as part of the refueling process in a microgravity environment.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Cryogenic propellant storage and transfer is critical to nearly all NASA’s future human exploration missions such as the Moon Gateway Mission and the more distant Mars Exploration Campaign. Successful propellant transfer in space is the cornerstone of NASA’s Reduced Gravity Cryogenic Transfer program and the technology in this program will impact it by improving our understanding of the physical processes, proving validation datasets and high-fidelity predictive tools.

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

The technology will be valuable in decarbonization efforts and the transition to a hydrogen economy since storage and transfer of hydrogen remains a significant challenge. The technology can also be used for design of cryogenic spray nozzles for advanced propulsion concepts, improving life support systems in space as well as cryogenic preservation techniques in medical applications.

Duration: 24

Form Generated on 01/12/2022 20:58:15