NASA 1999 SBIR Phase I


 

PROPOSAL NUMBER 99-1 08.08-4242 (Chron: 992178 )

PROJECT TITLE

Two-Phase Cryogen Massflow and Quality Metering by Multiuse Microwave Sensors


TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Measuring the mass flow rates of both the liquid and vapor phases of cryogenic fluids is not currently practiced. This capability would enable the lower weight space systems and allow feedback control and diagnostics for many currently open loop thruster and thermal management systems. Foster-Miller believes that two-phase flow measurement of cryogenics will be demonstrated in this Phase I using our proprietary Dynamical Instrument method with radio frequency sensors. Our method measures the several non-linear, or chaotic, features of the flow and correlates that to calibration runs. The unique work proposed here is to use small, 0.25cm, radio antennas on the inside wall of the pipe. Radio waves have been tried by others but the inherent chaotic nature of two-phase flows has foiled these linear correlation attempts. With the antennas inside of the pipe, signal communications can be done with a radio link with no penetration of the pipe and minimal or no penetration of the surrounding cryogenic insulation jacket. Phase II should be able to reduce this to a practical instrument for flight demonstration. Flight opportunities are being developed through the Center for Space Power and the Commercial Space Center for Engineering.


POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The space applications will be in cyrogenics and fuel flow measurements on commercial satellites and the Station where end of life knowledge and diagnostics are critical in the decision to park a used satellite. Earthbound applications will be for flow measurement and diagnostics in cryogenic transport, charging on end use systems like magnetic imagining super-conducting magnets, cryogenic generators and manufacturing processes.


NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address,

City/State/Zip)

Thomas W. Lovell

Foster-Miller, Inc.

350 Second Ave.

Waltham , MA 02451 - 1196


NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Foster-Miller, Inc.

350 Second Ave.

Waltham , MA 02451 - 1196