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Company Information:

Company Name: Plasma Processes, LLC
City: Huntsville
State: AL
Zip+4: -
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phone: (256) 851-7653

Award Totals:

Program/Phase Award Amount ($) Number of Awards
SBIR Phase I $4,778,907.00 57
SBIR Phase II $26,451,288.00 34
STTR Phase I $699,999.00 7

Award List:

HIGHLY EFFICIENT HEAT-DISSIPATING FUNCTIONALLY GRADIENT PLASMA FACING MATERIALS

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1993 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Mr Erin H Richardson
Award Amount: $74,936.00

Innovative Plasma Nozzle Techniques for Eliminating Overspray

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1993 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: George Philips Beason, Jr
Award Amount: $48,973.00

HIGHLY EFFICIENT HEAT-DISSIPATING FUNCTIONALLY GRADIENT PLASMA FACING MATERIALS

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1994 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Mr Erin H Richardson
Award Amount: $599,995.00
Abstract:
Currently, no single material satisfies all the design requirements for plasma facing components in magnetic fusion devices. therefore complex designs have been proposed and tested, but operation of the devices is still limited. innovative techniques are planned in this project to fabricate… More

Innovative Plasma Nozzle Techniques for Eliminating Overspray

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1994 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: George Philips Beason, Jr
Award Amount: $499,975.00

Joining of Tungsten Armor Using Functional Gradients

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1996 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Mr. Timothy McKechnie , Director
Award Amount: $75,000.00

Beryllium and Tungsten Brush Armor for Plasma Facing Components

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1997 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Dr. Timothy McKechnie , Director
Award Amount: $75,000.00
Abstract:
196 Beryllium and Tungsten Brush Armor for Plasma Facing Components--Plasma Processes, Inc., 4914 D Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL 35811-1558; (205) 851-7653 Dr. Timothy McKechnie, Principal Investigator Ms. Cheri McKechnie, Business Official DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-97ER82458 Amount: … More

Joining of Tungsten Armor Using Functional Gradients

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1997 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Mr. Timothy McKechnie , Director
Award Amount: $750,000.00
Abstract:
40903 November 18, 1996 Plasma Processes, Inc. Due to its high melting point, good thermal conductivity, low sputtering rate, and disruption resistance, tungsten armor is being considered for magnetic fusion energy devices such as the International… More

Beryllium and Tungsten Brush Armor for Plasma Facing Components

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1998 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Dr. Timothy McKechnie , Director
Award Amount: $750,000.00
Abstract:
196 Beryllium and Tungsten Brush Armor for Plasma Facing Components--Plasma Processes, Inc., 4914 D Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL 35811-1558; (205) 851-7653 Dr. Timothy McKechnie, Principal Investigator Ms. Cheri McKechnie, Business Official DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-97ER82458 Amount: … More

High Temperature Oxidation Resistant Alumina Coatings for Advanced Energy and Processing Systems

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1998 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Mr. Timothy McKechnie , President
Award Amount: $75,000.00
Abstract:
50304-98-I High Temperature Oxidation Resistant Alumina Coatings for Advanced Energy and Processing Systems--Plasma Processes, Inc., 4914 D Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL 35811-1558; (205) 851-7653 Mr. Timothy McKechnie, Principal Investigator Mr. Timothy McKechnie, Business Official DOE Grant… More

Beryllium Armored Aluminum Alloy Plasma Facing Components

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1998 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Mr. Timothy Mckechnie , President
Award Amount: $75,000.00
Abstract:
50467-98-I Beryllium Armored Aluminum Alloy Plasma Facing Components--Plasma Processes, Inc., 4914 D Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL 35811-1558; (205) 851-7653 Mr. Timothy Mckechnie, Principal Investigator Mr. Timothy Mckechnie, Business Official DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-98ER82644 Amount: … More

This proposal has not been assigned a title Advanced Low Density Tooling and Fabrication Processes for Reusable Launch Vehicles

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1998 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator:
Award Amount: $70,000.00

N/A

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1999 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Mr Timothy Mckechnie , President
Award Amount: $750,000.00

Low-Cost Fabrication, Lightweight Optics, Mirrors, and Benches

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1999 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Timothy McKechnie, President
Award Amount: $70,000.00

Advanced Heat Sink Materials for Fusion Energy Devices

Award Year / Program / Phase: 1999 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator:
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Not Available We propose to construct a novel random phase mask that takes advantage of new gray-scale lithography to improve the performance of high throughput volumetric memories. The focus of the effort will be to produce a phase mask prototype during Phase I that can be integrated onto a… More

N/A

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2000 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Principal Investigator: Timothy McKechnie, President
Award Amount: $70,000.00

N/A

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2000 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Materials Engineer
Award Amount: $70,000.00

N/A

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2000 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Timothy McKechnie, President
Award Amount: $0.00

N/A

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2000 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Timothy McKechnie, President
Award Amount: $598,449.00

N/A

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2000 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Timothy McKechnie, President
Award Amount: $0.00

N/A

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2000 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Timothy McKechnie, President
Award Amount: $750,000.00

Reliable Quench Crucibles for Materials Processing in Microgravity

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2001 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Materials Engineer
Award Amount: $600,000.00
Abstract:
With the completion of the International Space Station, access to microgravity for materials science experiments will increase significantly. Versatile sample containment fabrication techniques are needed to meet the science requirements of NASA's principle investigators. New quenching requirements… More

Reliable Quench Crucibles for Materials Processing in Microgravity

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2001 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Materials Engineer
Award Amount: $0.00
Abstract:
With the completion of the International Space Station, access to microgravity for materials science experiments will increase significantly. Versatile sample containment fabrication techniques are needed to meet the science requirements of NASA's principle investigators. New quenching requirements… More

Low Cost, Net Shape Fabrication of Propulsion and Hot Gas Components

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2002 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Principal Investigator: Timothy McKechnie, President
Award Amount: $742,467.00
Abstract:
"To meet DoD and IHPRPT requirements, the cost of rocket enginesneeds to be reduced while increasing performance. Rhenium isbeing used for nozzles and hot gas valve components because ofits high melting temperature and chemicalstability. However, the difficulty of forming rhenium and otherrefractory… More

Nanostructured Tungsten for Improved Plasma Facing Component Performance

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2002 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
70508 To reduce the cost of burning plasma experiments, conducted for fusion energy research, refractory metals are required as plasma facing components to increase high heat flux limitations. For refractory metals such as tungsten (W) to be used in these applications, improvements to both… More

Innovative Helium-Cooled Tungsten PFCs

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2002 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
70732 Helium has been found to be an attractive coolant for fusion power plants based on its safety advantages and compatibility with structural materials at high temperature. However, gas coolants in general tend to provide modest heat transfer performance due to their inherently low heat… More

Lightweight, Beryllium Free Nanostructured Composites

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2002 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Principal Investigator: Tim McKechnie, President
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
"Beryllium has been for used for generations in the aerospace structures and other applications due to its lightweight, high stiffness, low thermal expansion and high thermal conductivity. Despite its usefulness, beryllium is not an ideal material as it isexpensive, too brittle to work and poses a… More

Robust, High Temperature Containment Cartridges for Microgravity

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2002 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $599,430.00
Abstract:
High temperature, corrosion resistant cartridge materials are needed for microgravity processing experiments. Tungsten and molybdenum have high melting temperatures and in general possess the required chemical inertness. To improve the mechanical properties of these materials, alloy additions such… More

Robust, High Temperature Containment Cartridges for Microgravity

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2002 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
High temperature, corrosion resistant cartridge materials are needed for microgravity processing experiments. Tungsten and molybdenum have high melting temperatures and in general possess the required chemical inertness. To improve the mechanical properties of these materials, alloy additions such… More

Lightweight, High Conductivity Metal Matrix Composite

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2002 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Timothy McKechnie, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
Innovative technologies are needed to increase performance and reduce life-cycle cost of rocket engine components. Fabrication of lightweight engine components such as injector faceplates and nozzle ramps offer great potential for increasing thrust to weight ratios and reducing costs. Current… More

Nanostructured Tungsten for Improved Plasma Facing Component Performance

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2003 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell
Award Amount: $750,000.00
Abstract:
70508B02-II To reduce the cost of burning-plasma experiments conducted for fusion energy research, refractory metals are required to increase high heat flux limitations for plasma facing component applications. For refractory metals such as tungsten (W) to be used in fusion applications,… More

Development of Tantalum Carbide for Microgravity Containment Cartridges

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2003 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
Two critical aspects for microgravity materials experiments are to ensure the safety of the International Space Station (ISS) crew/hardware and to maximize the level of obtainable science. Several of the materials processing experiments for the Quench Module Insert (QMI), one of the first Experiment… More

Enhanced Blackbody Sensors for the Quench Module Insert

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2003 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
Experiment Modules (EM) such as the Quench Module Insert (QMI) must be comprised of robust components to minimize the need for recalibration and refurbishment/replacement on the International Space Station. A critical aspect for proper operation of the QMI is thermal performance monitoring by… More

Low NOx Commerical Burner

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2003 / STTR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Research Institution: Brookhaven National Laboratory
Principal Investigator: Bola R. Kamath
Award Amount: $100,000.00
RI Contact: N/A
Abstract:
70848T02-II Fuel oil is an important part of the energy supply mix for commercial and large residential buildings, but the development of low emission, high performance burners has received little attention. Recent advances in recirculating burner development with low pressure air atomization… More

Nanostructured Tungsten for Improved Plasma Facing Component Performance

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2003 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell
Award Amount: $0.00
Abstract:
70508B02-II To reduce the cost of burning-plasma experiments conducted for fusion energy research, refractory metals are required to increase high heat flux limitations for plasma facing component applications. For refractory metals such as tungsten (W) to be used in fusion applications,… More

Innovative Tungsten Alloys for Advanced Propulsion Systems

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2003 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hickman, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
Non-conventional technologies are needed to revolutionize space propulsion. Development of materials with improved properties is essential to increase performance and reduce cost. Advancements are needed for components in high powered electrical, beamed energy, and nuclear propulsion systems.… More

Low Cost, Non-Eroding Boost Nozzle Throats

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2003 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hickman, Materials Engineer
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
Missile defense urgently needs a new generation of boosters with increased reliability and performance. Many missile defense systems currently being tested use older modified missiles that have malfunctioned during testing. As a result, critical testinghas been delayed. Boost phase, intercept… More

Enhanced Blackbody Sensors for the Quench Module Insert

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2004 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott ODell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $599,997.00
Abstract:
Experiment Modules (EM) such as the Quench Module Insert (QMI) must be comprised of robust components to minimize the need for recalibration and refurbishment/replacement on the International Space Station. A critical aspect for proper operation of the QMI is thermal performance monitoring by… More

Innovative Tungsten Alloys for Advanced Propulsion Systems

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2004 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hickman, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $600,000.00
Abstract:
Non-conventional technologies are needed to revolutionize space propulsion. Development of materials with improved properties is essential to increase performance and reduce cost. Advancements are needed for components in solid and hybrid rocket, high powered electrical, beamed energy, and nuclear… More

Low Cost, Non-Eroding Boost Nozzle Throats

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2004 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Principal Investigator: Robert Hickman, Materials Engineer
Award Amount: $750,000.00
Abstract:
Low cost, boost phase nozzles are needed for missile defense systems. Boost phase intercept missiles require high thrust motors that operate at very high pressures and temperatures. The nozzles must survive high thermal strains with minimal erosion to maintain performance. Current R&D focuses on… More

Smart Crucibles for Materials Processing in Microgravity

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2004 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
Crucibles comprised of an internal ceramic liner in direct contact with a metal reinforcement are desired to maximize heat transfer between the sample and the furnace for materials processing experiments in microgravity. Previous work by Plasma Processes Inc. has demonstrated forming techniques to… More

A Novel Radiation Shielding Material

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2004 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
In order to safely explore space, humans must be protected from radiation. There are 2 predominant sources of extraterrestrial ionizing radiation, namely, Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) consisting primarily of nuclei of atoms (up to Fe) and Solar Energetic Particles (SEP), which includes mainly… More

Flowing Liquid Lithium Walls Using Engineered Surfaces

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2004 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Mr.
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
75376-Reactor studies have identified liquid lithium walls as a promising solution to magnetic fusion energy (MFE) first-wall problems. However, the implementation of a flowing liquid lithium first wall in a fusion experiment is complicated by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) effects produced in… More

Smart Crucibles and Heat Pipes

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2005 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell
Award Amount: $600,000.00
Abstract:
For materials processing experiments in microgravity, crucibles comprised of an internal ceramic liner in direct contact with a metal reinforcement are desired to maximize heat transfer. Previous work has demonstrated the advantages of reinforced crucibles for producing samples with enhanced… More

A Novel Radiation Shielding Material

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2005 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell
Award Amount: $599,999.00
Abstract:
Radiation shielding simulations showed that epoxy loaded with 10-70% polyethylene would be an excellent shielding material against GCRs and SEPs. Milling produced an elemental boron coating on the polyethylene particles suitable for protecting against low energy neutrons. For up to 30 volume… More

Engineered Surfaces for the Lithium Tokamak Experiment

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2005 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Mr.
Award Amount: $650,000.00
Abstract:
75376B Reactor studies have identified liquid lithium walls as a promising solution to magnetic fusion energy first wall problems. For near-term applications, such as the Lithium Tokamak eXperiment (LTX), a thin-film approach has been pursued; however, thin lithium films can become saturated with… More

Nanostructured Tungsten Rhenium Components for Propulsion Systems

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2005 / STTR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Research Institution: Johns Hopkins University
Principal Investigator: Timothy N. McKechnie
Award Amount: $100,000.00
RI Contact: Angela Hattaway
Abstract:
Revolutionizing the space propulsion industry through innovative, relatively low-cost, manufacturing techniques is extremely needed. Specifically, advancements are needed for components in new high-powered electrical, beamed energy, and nuclear propulsion systems. Innovative processes for… More

Tantalum-Hafnium-Carbide and Tantalum-Hafnium-Carbonitride Materials for Boost Propulsion Nozzles

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2006 / STTR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Research Institution: SOUTHERN RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
RI Contact: Jack Spain
Abstract:
Advanced missile defense interceptors will provide our nation with the capability of defeating threats to our homeland and our deployed troops. However, the fielding of these advanced interceptors is strongly dependent upon technologies that enable production of interceptor boost nozzles capable of… More

Design, Analysis and Fabrication of Low Cost Dissolvable Jet Vane Concepts for Rocket Propelled Missiles

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2006 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
Low cost, tactical missiles such as the U.S. Army's PAM (Precision Attack Missile) will provide our nation with the capability of defeating threats to our deployed troops. However, improvements are desired in an effort to meet future missile requirements. One particular enhancement is the… More

Hydrogen Plasma Reduction of Lunar Regolith for In-Space Fabrication

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2006 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: John O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
Tools for extracting resources from the moon are needed to support future space missions. Of particular interest is the production of raw materials for in-space fabrication. In addition, oxygen and water for habitat and propulsion purposes is needed. The only practical source for these materials… More

Tungsten Alloy Divertor Concept with Helium Jet Cooling

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2006 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: John S. O'Dell, Mr.
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Helium-cooled, refractory-metal heat sinks are being considered for the divertor sections of several fusion energy reactors. Research results have shown considerable promise for the use of jet-impingement-type helium-cooling techniques in high-heat-flux applications. However, because of the small… More

Innovative Molybdenum Alloy for Extreme Operating Conditions

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2006 / STTR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Research Institution: Florida International University
Principal Investigator: John O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $99,999.00
RI Contact: Patricia Alvarez
Abstract:
Molybdenum has been identified as a promising material for many high temperature NASA applications due to its high melting temperature, resistance to liquid metals, resistance to hot hydrogen, high thermal conductivity, and relatively low density. However, molybdenum's ductile to brittle transition… More

Low Erosion, Lightweight Composites for Reaction Jet Control Systems

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2007 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Principal Investigator: T. McKechnie, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Advanced, high-temperature Reaction Jet Control (RJC) systems provide agility, maneuverability and end-game lethality to missiles and precision guided munitions. The biggest technical challenge of the RJC program is developing low-cost, lightweight valves to withstand the extreme temperature… More

High Performance Bipropellant Space Engines

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2007 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: John S. O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Advanced bipropellant engines are needed for ARES/ORION vehicle maneuvering and future deep space science missions. Currently, an iridium-lined rhenium combustion chamber is the state-of-the-art for in-space propulsion applications. An example of an in-space engine that incorporates an… More

Plasma Reduction of Lunar Regolith for In-Space Fabrication

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2007 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: John S. O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $600,000.00
Abstract:
Tools for extracting resources from the moon are needed to support future space missions. Of particular interest is the production of gases and metals for life support, propulsion, and in-space fabrication. The only practical source for these materials is the decomposition of lunar regolith.… More

Tungsten Alloy Divertor Concept with Helium Jet Cooling

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2007 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: John S. O'Dell, Mr
Award Amount: $750,000.00
Abstract:
Helium-cooled, refractory metal heat sinks are being considered for the divertor sections of several fusion energy reactors. One type of helium cooling, jet impingement, has shown promise for high heat flux applications. However, because of the small size of the units (1.5-2 cm), a large number of… More

Light Weight Thrust Chambers for Advanced Interceptor Axial Propulsion

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2008 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Principal Investigator: Timothy McKechnie, Senior Materials Engineer
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
The Network Centric Airborne Defense Element (NCADE) is an affordable boost- and ascent- phase ballistic missile interceptor system. NCADE has the same form, fit and interface as the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAMT). The boost- and ascent-phase capability of NCADE is enabled by… More

Reduced Cost TaC-based Rocket Nozzle for Solid Boost Motors

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2008 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Materials Engineers
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Missile defense interceptors will provide our nation with the capability of defeating threats to our homeland and our deployed troops. However, the fielding of these advanced interceptors is strongly dependent upon technologies that enable production of high performance, low cost interceptor… More

Lightweight Exit Cone for Liquid Rocket Engines

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2008 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
The Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) J-2X engine will power the upper stage of the Ares I and the earth departure stage (EDS) of the Ares V, which will enable manned travels to the Moon and eventually Mars. Building on Apollo heritage, the J-2X is a derivative of the J 2 engine. One unique… More

Low Erosion, Lightweight Composites for Reaction Jet Control Systems

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2008 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $749,995.00
Abstract:
Reaction Jet Control (RJC) systems will provide agility, maneuverability and end-game lethality to missiles and precision guided munitions. Demonstration of this technology is an important milestone in the development of next generation multi role missiles, such as the Joint Dual Role Air Dominance… More

Electrochemical Microalloying of Tungsten for Plasma Facing Component Applications

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2008 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: John S. O'Dell, Mr.
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Tungsten and its alloys are candidates for plasma-facing-component heat sinks and armor used in fusion energy systems, due to their low sputtering rate, high melting point, high thermal conductivity, high strength at elevated temperatures, and low tritium inventory. However, tungsten¿s inherent… More

Light Weight Thrust Chambers and DACS

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Principal Investigator: Timothy N. McKechnie, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $1,000,000.00
Abstract:
A novel lightweight thrust chamber has been developed in support of axial propulsion, gas generators and divert and attitude control systems for missile defense interceptors. Characterization of metal lined carbon composites during Phase 2 will increase the technology readiness required for… More

Evaluation of TaC-Based Materials and Nozzle Concepts for Aluminized Solid Rocket Motors

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $750,000.00
Abstract:
Fielding of advanced missile defense interceptors is strongly dependent upon innovative concepts and technologies that can be applied across the Ballistic Missile Defense System to stay ahead of the threat, improve system capabilities and effectiveness, and lower life cycle costs. Tantalum carbide… More

Advanced Composite Thrust Chambers for the Altair Lunar Lander

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: John S. O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Radiation-cooled, bipropellant thrusters are being considered for the Ascent Module main engine of the Altair Lunar Lander. Currently, iridium-lined rhenium combustion chambers are the state-of-the-art for radiatively cooled thrusters. To increase the performance of radiation-cooled engines,… More

Advanced Materials and Fabrication Techniques for the Orion Attitude Control Motor

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / STTR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Research Institution: Southern Research Institute
Principal Investigator: John S. O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
RI Contact: N/A
Abstract:
The Launch Abort System (LAS) for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) will provide a safe escape for the crew in the event of an emergency during launch. A key component of the LAS is its Attitude Control Motor (ACM). Recent testing of the ACM valve assembly has resulted in failure during… More

Lightweight Nozzle Extension for Liquid Rocket Engines

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $600,000.00
Abstract:
The ARES J-2X requires a large nozzle extension. Currently, a metallic nozzle extension is being considered with carbon-carbon composite as a backup. In Phase 1, Plasma Processes Inc. (PPI), with the support from subcontractor ATK Launch Systems, fabricated, coated and test fired Haynes 230 and… More

A Tailorable Structural Composite for GCR and Albedo Neutron Protection on the Lunar Surface

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Schofield, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
A tailorable structural composite that will provide protection from the lunar radiation environment, including GCR and albedo neutrons will be developed. This composite will have increased structural strength combined with more efficient shielding of GCR and albedo neutrons when compared to… More

High Surface Iridium Anodes for Molten Oxide Electrolysis

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Anatoliy Shchetkovksiy, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Processing of lunar regolith into oxygen for habitat and propulsion is needed to support future space missions. Direct electrochemical reduction of molten regolith is most attractive method of processing because no additional chemical reagents are needed. The electrochemical processing of molten… More

Multi-Use Coating for Abrasion Prevention, Wear Protection, and Lunar Dust Removal

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Schofield, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
The deleterious effects of lunar dust, typically less than 50 ýým in diameter, have to be addressed prior to establishing a human base and long duration human presence on the surface of the moon. These effects include abrasion of seals, gaskets, motors, actuators, gimbals, bearings, blocking… More

Electrochemical Microalloying of Tungsten for Plasma Facing Component Applications

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: John S. O'Dell, Mr.
Award Amount: $750,000.00
Abstract:
Tungsten¿s inherent chemical inertness and high melting temperature make it an ideal heat sink and armor material for fusion applications. However, tungsten¿s intrinsic low temperature brittleness makes it difficult to fabricate using conventional processing techniques. Recently, advanced… More

High Temperature Bond and Thermal Barrier Coatings

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2009 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: Timothy McKechnie, Mr.
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
The key to higher efficiencies and lower emissions in next generation power plants, such as Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) systems, is an increase in the firing temperatures that are now limited by the turbines materials. In this project, higher-temperature thermal protection… More

An Ultra-High Temperature Ceramic with Improved Fracture Toughness and Oxidation Resistance

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / STTR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Research Institution: University of Alabama
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
RI Contact: Gregory Thompson
Abstract:
Hypersonic missile defense systems are being designed to reach global threats. During flight, external surfaces are predicted to reach temperatures in excess of 2200C. As a result, innovative, high performance thermal protection systems (TPS) are of great demand. Among ultra-high temperature… More

Advanced Composite Thrust Chambers for the Altair Lunar Lander

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Angela Hattaway, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $600,000.00
Abstract:
Radiation-cooled, bipropellant thrusters are being considered for the Ascent Module main engine of the Altair Lunar Lander. Currently, iridium-lined rhenium combustion chambers are the state-of-the-art for radiatively cooled thrusters. To increase the performance of radiation-cooled engines,… More

Microchannel Thermo Catalytic Ignition for Advanced Mono- and Bipropellants

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / STTR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Research Institution: University of Connecticut
Principal Investigator: Anatoliy Shchetkovskiy, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
RI Contact: N/A
Abstract:
Small and micro-spacecrafts require the efficient, micro-propulsion systems. Chemical micro-propulsion is best suited for use as primary thrust, orbital insertion and attitude control because of its high energy density. When grouped into arrays for larger thrust applications, micro-propulsion… More

High Surface Area Iridium Anodes and Melt Containers for Molten Oxide Electrolysis

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Angela Hattaway, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $600,000.00
Abstract:
Direct electrochemical reduction of molten regolith is the most attractive method of oxygen production on the lunar surface, because no additional chemical reagents are needed. The process is proven on a laboratory scale, but the cathode-anode system and melt containers need to be improved for… More

Advanced Monopropellant Microchannel DACS

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Principal Investigator: Anatoliy Shchetkovskiy, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Future high maneuverability Divert Altitude and Control Systems (DACS) require improved performance and reduced environmental impacts, while maximizing kill vehicle divert capabilities and reducing weight within restricted geometries. Advanced "green" monopropellants promise significant improvements… More

High Chamber Pressure, Light Weight Thrusters

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Tim N. McKechnie, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
The performance liquid propellant engines can be significantly improved by increasing both combustion temperature and pressure and reducing engine weight. State of the art Bi-propellant engines are metallic; the highest temperature combustion chambers are made of iridium/rhenium metals. Utilizing… More

Multi-Use Coating for Abrasion Prevention, Wear Protection, and Lunar Dust Removal

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Tim McKechnie, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $600,000.00
Abstract:
The deleterious effects of lunar dust, typically less than 50

Mass Production of Mature Lunar Regolith Simulant

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Daniel A. Butts, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
As NASA prepares for future exploration activities on the Moon, there is a growing need to develop higher fidelity lunar soil simulants that can accurately reproduce the properties and behavior of lunar soil. Simulants are employed on earth to verify the performance of equipment, mechanisms,… More

Functional Graded Conductor Rails for Electromagnetic Launchers

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Materials Engineer
Award Amount: $70,000.00
Abstract:
The US Navy is pursuing the development of an electromagnetic rail gun (EMRG) for long range naval surface fire support. Such guns have been built and operated successfully on a test basis, however several obstacles prevent them from usage in the field. One specific obstacle is the development of… More

Advanced ICRF Antennas for Fusion Energy Devices

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2010 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: John O'Dell, Mr.
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Abstract Ion cyclotron range of frequency (ICRF) heating is expected to be an important auxiliary heating source for ITER and future fusion reactors, where high Z metallic plasma facing components (PFCs) will be used. The compatibility of high Z PFCs with high power ICRF heating is of considerable… More

Improved Rhenium Thrust Chambers for In-Space Propulsion

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: John S. O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Radiation-cooled, bipropellant thrust chambers are being considered for the ascent/descent engines and reaction control systems (RCS) for future NASA missions such as Mars Sample Return. Currently, iridium-lined rhenium combustion chambers are the state-of-the-art for in-space engines. NASA's… More

Non-Toxic HAN Monopropellant Propulsion

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Timothy N. McKechnie, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Non-toxic monopropellants have been developed that provide better performance than toxic hydrazine. Formulations based on hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN) have superior performance as compared to hydrazine with Isp (261 seconds, 12% greater), higher density and volumetric impulse, lower melting point,… More

Production of Mature Highland Lunar Regolith Simulant

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
As NASA considers manned and/or unmanned return missions to the Moon and beyond, it is imperative that high fidelity lunar soil simulants be developed in order to accurately evaluate the life span and efficiency of any equipment exposed to the lunar surface. One of the significant limitations of… More

Advanced ICRF Antennas for Fusion Energy Devices

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: John O'Dell, Mr.
Award Amount: $1,000,000.00
Abstract:
Abstract Ion cyclotron range of frequency (ICRF) power is anticipated to be a primary auxiliary heating source in next step tokamak experiments like ITER. From a technological perspective, electrical breakdown is a significant challenge for ICRF utilization in present experiments and will become… More

Ultra High Temperature Hafnium-based Materials for Propulsion Technologies

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Materials Engineer / PI – (256) 851-7653
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Rhenium is the current material of choice for several critical hot gas path components of Divert and Attitude Control Systems (DACS) due to its erosion resistance, high-temperature strength and compatibility with propellant products. However, disadvantages of Re include high cost and high density.… More

Low-Erosion, Light-Weight Rhenium Graphite Composites for SDACS

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Anatoliy Shchetkovskiy, El-Form Manager – (256) 851-7653
Award Amount: $100,000.00
Abstract:
Rhenium is the current material of choice for several critical valve components in a solid divert and attitude control system (DACS) due to its erosion resistance, high-temperature strength, and compatibility with propellant exhaust products. However, bulk rhenium is disadvantaged by being… More

Light Weight Thrust Chambers and DACS

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Timothy N. McKechnie, Principal Investigator – (256) 851-7653
Award Amount: $431,060.00
Abstract:
A novel lightweight thrust chamber has been developed in support of axial propulsion, gas generators and divert and attitude control systems for missile defense interceptors. Characterization of metal lined carbon composites during Phase 2 will increase the technology readiness required for… More

Evaluation of TaC-Based Materials and Nozzle Concepts for Aluminized Solid Rocket Motors

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Principal Investigator – (256) 851-7653
Award Amount: $2,849,069.00
Abstract:
Fielding of advanced missile defense interceptors is strongly dependent upon innovative concepts and technologies that can be applied across the Ballistic Missile Defense System to stay ahead of the threat, improve system capabilities and effectiveness, and lower life cycle costs. Tantalum carbide… More

Functional Graded Conductor Rails for Electromagnetic Launchers

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2011 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Materials Engineer – (256) 851-7653
Award Amount: $1,486,425.00
Abstract:
The US Navy is pursuing the development of an electromagnetic rail gun (EMRG), which promises to extend naval fire support and increase ship safety. Such guns have been built and operated successfully, however several obstacles prevent them from widespread usage in the field. One specific obstacle… More

Improved Rhenium Thrust Chambers for In-Space Propulsion

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2012 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: John Scott O'Dell, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $750,000.00
Abstract:
Radiation-cooled, bipropellant thrust chambers are being considered for the ascent/descent engines and reaction control systems for NASA missions such as Mars Sample Return and Orion MPCV. Currently, iridium-lined rhenium combustion chambers are the state-of-the-art for in-space engines.… More

Non-Toxic HAN Monopropellant Propulsion

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2012 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Timothy N. McKechnie, Principal Investigator
Award Amount: $744,427.00
Abstract:
Non-toxic monopropellants have been developed that provide better performance than toxic hydrazine. Formulations based on hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN) have superior performance as compared to hydrazine with Isp (261 seconds, 12% greater), higher density and volumetric impulse (60% greater… More

Ultra High Temperature Hafnium-based Materials for Propulsion Technologies

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2012 / SBIR / Phase II
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Daniel A. Butts, Materials Engineer – (256) 851-7653
Award Amount: $1,000,000.00
Abstract:
Rhenium is the current material of choice for Divert and Attitude Control Systems (DACS) components of due to its erosion resistance, high-temperature strength and compatibility with propellant products. However, disadvantages of Re include high cost and high density. Alternatives to Re such as… More

Reduced Activation Tungsten for Fusion

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2013 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOE
Principal Investigator: John O'Dell, Mr.
Award Amount: $150,000.00
Abstract:
Tungsten and its alloys are candidates for plasma facing component heat sinks and armor due to their low sputtering rate, high melting point, high thermal conductivity, high strength at elevated temperatures and low tritium inventory. However during service, the plasma facing components will be… More

Thermal Isolation of Solid Rocket Motor Exit Cone and Nozzle

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2013 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Materials Engineer – (256) 851-7653
Award Amount: $149,998.00
Abstract:
Current strategic solid rockets motors, such as the SM-3 third stage rocket motor (TSRM), employ highly aluminized propellants with gas temperatures of approximately 6,500F. Carbon-carbon nozzle throats and carbon cloth phenolic (CCP) exit cones are commonly used to manage the propellant exhaust. … More

Oxidation Resistant Heating Elements for High Temperature Wind Tunnels

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2013 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: John S. O'Dell, Senior Materials Engineer – (256) 851-7653
Award Amount: $150,000.00
Abstract:
ABSTRACT: High temperature wind tunnels are needed to replicate the environment vehicles will experience during high Mach number flight. Of particular interest are sustained airflow temperatures of 2800 F. Although this level of performance has been obtained by two of NASA's wind tunnel… More

Fine Grained Tungsten Claddings for Cermet Based NTP Systems

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2013 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: NASA
Principal Investigator: Scott O'Dell, Senior Materials Engineer
Award Amount: $125,000.00
Abstract:
In October 2011, NASA initiated the Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS) program to evaluate the feasibility and affordability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP). A critical aspect of the program is to develop a robust, stable nuclear fuel. One of the nuclear fuel configurations currently… More

High Density Nosetips for Hypersonic Projectiles

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2013 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Materials Engineer – (256) 851-7653
Award Amount: $80,000.00
Abstract:
The Navy is developing weapon systems capable of launching inert projectiles for long-range surface fire support and missile intercept applications. Inert projectiles offer significant logistical and safety advantages over conventional chemical propellants or explosive ordnances. The launch… More

Non-Eroding Hot Gas Components for Strategic Propulsion Systems Produced by Reduced Cost, Rapid Manufacturing Techniques

Award Year / Program / Phase: 2014 / SBIR / Phase I
Agency: DOD
Principal Investigator: Daniel Butts, Senior Materials Engineer – (256) 851-7653
Award Amount: $80,000.00
Abstract:
Innovative solutions are sought to reduce cost and lead-time of hot gas valve components located in the post boost control system (PBCS) of the U.S. Navy"s Trident II D-5 Fleet Ballistic Missile. Current PBCS components are based on Nb, Ta10W and TZM, with protective coatings. Although… More