Thermal Management System for Superconducting Aircraft

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX09CC77P
Agency Tracking Number: 084323
Amount: $99,824.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: A2.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 71, Hanover, NH, 03755-0071
DUNS: 072021041
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Anthony Dietz
 Principal Investigator
 (603) 640-2310
Business Contact
 James Barry
Title: President
Phone: (603) 640-2487
Research Institution
Aircraft powered by hydrogen power plants or gas turbines driving electric generators connected to distributed electric motors for propulsion have the potential to transform the aircraft design space by decoupling power generation from propulsion. Resulting aircraft designs such as blended wing bodies with distributed propulsion can provide the large reductions in emissions, fuel burn and noise required to make air transportation growth projections sustainable. The power density requirements for these electric machines can only be achieved with superconducting materials. However, their feasibility is dependent on improving the power density of the cryocoolers needed to cool the superconductors to their operating temperatures. We propose a Cryoflight turbo-Brayton cryocooler, optimized for low weight and high efficiency. Our initial design studies indicate that this design will exceed the mass and performance targets identified by NASA for superconducting aircraft. In Phase I of this project we will extend our initial design study to include a system trade study and individual component designs (TRL 3). In Phase II we will demonstrate the turbomachine, the most critical component in the system (TRL 4). In Phase III we will demonstrate a complete cryocooler (TRL 4 and TRL 5). Our proposed Cryoflight cryocooler development effort will provide an enabling technology for superconducting aircraft, which have the potential to revolutionalize future air transportation.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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