Modified Collins Cryocooler for Cryo-Propellant Thermal Management

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX08CD38P
Agency Tracking Number: 070065
Amount: $99,682.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: T4.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Advanced Mechanical Technology, Inc.
176 Waltham Street, Watertown, MA, 02472-4800
DUNS: 070615646
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Charles Hannon
 Principal Investigator
 (617) 926-6700
Business Contact
 Bruce White
Title: Business Official
Phone: (617) 926-6700
Research Institution
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Not Available
 77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA, 02139
 (617) 258-8015
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Future lunar and planetary explorations will require the storage of cryogenic propellants, particularly liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid hydrogen (LH2), in low earth orbit (LEO) for periods of time ranging from days to months, and possibly longer. LEO is a relatively warm thermal environment and without careful thermal management, significant quantities of stored liquid cryogens can be lost due to boil-off. This requires that larger volumes of cryogenic fuels must be launched into orbit so that sufficient quantities are available to satisfy the mission propulsion requirements. It has been shown that active cooling using space cryocoolers has the potential to result in Zero Boil-Off (ZBO) of stored cryogens. The launch-mass savings using active cooling exceeds that of passive cooling of LOX for mission durations in LEO of less than 1 week. The savings advantage of active cooling for LH2 begins after about 2 months in LEO. The proposer is developing a Modified Collins Cryocooler that offers the potential for higher efficiency cooling with better system integration for ZBO storage than can be provided by Stirling or pulse-tube type cryocoolers.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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