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Electromagnetic Rotor Torque Check

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Electromagnetic Rotor Torque Check
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX11CD67P
Award Amount: $99,999.00


In order to achieve a high payoff turbopump with a low investment, the modern turbopump in today's space propulsion program is required to have greater life, with lower maintenance costs. In order to achieve lower maintenance costs, the turnaround time between mission cycles must be kept to a minimum. At each cycle, one item on the maintenance checklist to be conducted is rotor torque.In order for a turbopump to be returned to service, among other requirements, it must be clear of all FOD as well as damage to the rotor or bearings. One maintenance check that is a valid indicator of FOD or rotor and bearing damage is a rotor torque check. Failure of a turbopump due to rotor or bearing damage may lead to an event categorized as a Criticality 1 (Loss of Life or Vehicle) failure mode.In most modern turbopumps, performing a rotor torque check involves timely and costly maintenance procedures. In many cases, inlet piping or structural cases must be removed to expose the turbopump rotor. As each piece of hardware is reinstalled, they routinely must undergo lengthy quality checks to ensure proper assembly and function.FTT proposes development of a means to measure the rotor torque through the use of an electromagnetic drive device. Similar to a DC electrical motor, the new component would be powered and cause the rotor to rotate. After recording measurements of the rotor speed and electromagnet input power, the rotor torque could be calculated. Incorporating a device such as this into a turbopump would reduce time associated with torque measurements from days to seconds.

Principal Investigator:

Andrew Wall
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Lloyd Mazer
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Florida Turbine Technologies, Inc.
FL Jupiter, FL 33458-7887

EIN/Tax ID: 650869709
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No