USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Hyperbaric Chamber Compressor for Treatment of Decompression Sickness

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2001 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place Pines Industrial Center Rockledge, FL -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2001
Title: Hyperbaric Chamber Compressor for Treatment of Decompression Sickness
Agency: NASA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $69,377.00


NASA is currently developing an on-board hyperbaric chamber to treat decompression sickness in crewmembers during long-term space missions. However, they do not have a compressor that will operate in zero gravity to pressurize the chamber. The goal of this program is to develop a compact, lightweight compressor for the hyperbaric chamber. Commercial, earth-based compressors typically require gravity-circulated lubrication oil for the bearings. Mainstream proposes developing a magnetic-bearing centrifugal compressor that does not require lubrication and therefore operates independently of gravity. The air compressor has tremendous size, weight, power, and reliability advantages. It can be coupled with molecular sieves to produce oxygen, which is also used in the treatment of decompression sickness and cryocoolers to produce liquid oxygen, critical for space missions. In Phase I, Mainstream will design, fabricate and demonstrate the air compressor on an existing high-speed test stand. The demonstration compressor, driven by a turbine, will prove the feasibility of the innovation. In Phase II, a prototype magnetic bearing air compressor will be manufactured and demonstrated. In Phase III, Mainstream will pursue flight approval and work with our commercial partner on earth-based units.

Principal Investigator:

Gregory S. Cole
Senior Mechanical Engineer

Business Contact:

Kathy McGraw-Davids
Contract Administrator
Small Business Information at Submission:

Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place Rockledge, FL 32955

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No