Titan Montgolfiere Terrestrial Test Bed

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX12CA51C
Agency Tracking Number: 104795
Amount: $749,998.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: S3.07
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
GSSL Inc
OR, Tillamook, OR, 97141-0909
DUNS: 015605850
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Timothy Lachenmeier
 Principal Investigator
 (503) 842-1990
 tim.lachenmeier@nsc.aero
Business Contact
 Kristen Lachenmeier
Title: Business Official
Phone: (503) 842-1990
Email: kris.lachenmeier@nsc.aero
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
With the Titan Saturn System Mission, NASA is proposing to send a Montgolfiere balloon to probe the atmosphere of Titan. To better plan this mission and create a robust optimized balloon design, NASA requires the ability to more accurately evaluate the convective heat transfer characteristics of the balloon operating in Titan's atmosphere. Based on limitations of previous efforts, NASA has requested proposals for a testbed to support CFD validation. Leveraging the results of the Phase I effort, Near Space Corporation (NSC), proposes to develop and operate two full scale Testbeds (~9 m diameter) in order to help validate CFD models for the TSSM Titan Montgolfiere balloon. The Testbeds will incorporate new envelope design innovations and state-of-the-art data acquisition methods to enable data intensive tethered and free-flight tests. Utilizing its unique balloon facility located in a large blimp hangar, NSC will conduct iterative tethered hangar tests of the full scale Testbeds (which is not possible in existing cryogenic test chambers). These flights will enable better IR imaging and flow characterization measurements. The acquired data will provide critical input to incrementally improve and validate the CFD models. The outdoor drop/inflation test and a free flight test will retire technology risks associated with the future Titan mission in addition to generating the validation data necessary to improve the existing CFD models. NSC proposes to develop and operate a mature TMTT system during Phase II, generate pertinent data that will be used to improve the CFD models, and leverage the effort to create valuable technology with both NASA and non-NASA commercial applications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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