Innovative High Temperature Heat Pipes for Spacecraft Nuclear Fission Systems

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX12CE07P
Agency Tracking Number: 114134
Amount: $124,926.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: X8.03
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1046 New Holland Avenue, Lancaster, PA, -
DUNS: 126288336
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kara Walker
 Principal Investigator
 (717) 295-6081
Business Contact
 Jon Zuo
Title: Business Official
Phone: (717) 295-6058
Research Institution
NASA Glenn is examining small fission reactors for future space transportation and surface power applications. The reactors would have an 8 to 15 year design life that could be available for a 2020 launch to support future NASA science missions. Both 1 kWe thermoelectric and 3 kWe Stirling systems have been examined. The proposed design will use alkali metal heat pipes to transfer heat from the reactor to the Stirling or Thermoelectrics (TEs) convertors. This SBIR project by ACT will develop alkali metal heat pipes for space nuclear fission reactors. Three types of alkali metal heat pipes will be investigated over the course of the 6 month Phase I program; arterial heat pipes, grooved heat pipes and self-venting arterial heat pipes that use a screen wick artery with vent holes. Grooved and self-venting heat pipes will be fabricated and tested to determine which design would be best suited for the space fission reactor application.

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

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