You are here

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
Solicitation Topic Code: T4.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2007
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2008-01-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2009-01-16
Small Business Information
176 Waltham Street
Watertown, MA 02472-4800
United States
DUNS: 070615646
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
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
United States

 (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. *

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government