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Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: ORBITEC will develop a new diagnostic to acquire simultaneous planes of velocity and temperature data at very high repetition rates. This diagnostic relies on a novel pulse burst laser system, a phosphor thermometry technique, and the mature PIV method. The work plan will involve developing and testing the laser, refining the integrated technique, and demonstrating it in a supersonic flow. The result will be a new diagnostic that will be very useful to the combustion community for generating temporally and spatially resolved data in reacting flow and for validating CFD models. The resulting products will have a promising market in both military and civilian applications. BENEFIT: This STTR program will produce several viable products: The PIV+T diagnostic, the pulse burst laser, the phosphor particles, and testing services. Because the PIV+T technique is designed for turbulent reacting flows, it will have applications in air-breathing engines, IC engines, and rocket engines. The markets include many branches of the military and many civilian companies.


Patent
Orbital Technologies Corporation | Date: 2014-10-14

An LED-based lighting system having an upgradeable control system and a method thereof are provided. The system includes an LED source having a plurality of LED lights, a control system which comprises a motherboard, a control panel, and a control module. The control module is replaceable with a new control module to provide upgrades of operational modes and features of the lighting system without requiring the entire lighting system be replaced.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2014

ORBITEC proposes to develop the Advanced Reversible Cryogenic Thermal Energy Storage (ARCTES) system, which will provide temporary backup cooling for circulating helium gas coolant in high-temperature superconducting (HTS) systems for naval applications. The ARCTES will rely on an initially-frozen cryogen to absorb heat from the passing helium gas through a heat exchanger device. As the working cryogen continues to absorb heat, it will warm to its melting point, melt, and then continue to warm as a liquid and evaporate to the vapor phase. The ARCTES provides a compact, lightweight, and simple means of passively storing cooling capacity. For purposes of comparison, the current state-of-the-art backup cooling system relies on the heat of vaporization of liquid nitrogen, which provides approximately 200 joules per gram (J/g) of cooling capacity. The ARCTES system will improve upon this figure by 50%, approaching 300 J/g of cooling capacity. The ARCTES system has the additional advantages of requiring neither LN2 resupply nor a vent to atmosphere for boil-off gas, and of being passively reversible. ORBITEC has extensive experience in the formation and management of solid cryogens as part of our propulsion system development, and we are well-qualified to perform this work.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 1.47M | Year: 2013

Advanced ordnance and propulsion systems utillize materials, such as RDX and HMX, that provide good performance but cannot meet todays more stringent safety and environmental requirements. Unfortunately, in newer compounds created to replace them, the performance falls with the sensitivity. The ORBITEC team proposes the development of new energetic materials that will be both high performance and insensitive. The Phase II work will focus on developing new compounds and synthesizing them in sufficient quantities to begin safety testing. The synthesis will involve both exploration of new compounds and producing larger quantities o existing compounds. Coupled analytical chemistry and modeling will verify the synthesis and project the potential performance of the new explosives. The option periods will further scale up the synthesis to allow more extensive testing and move the technology toward pilot plant production. The ultimate result of the Phase II STTR program will be new, insensitive explosives that will have use across a wide range of military and civilian applications.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.97K | Year: 2014

The PMWC Flight Demonstrator Payload is a trash dewatering and volume reduction system that uses heat melt compaction to remove nearly 100% of water from trash while significantly reducing the volume. Recent advances have proven that ORBITEC's HEHO-PMWC is a viable technology for producing 16" square tiles for radiation protection. ORBITEC proposes to enhance the current SOA by repackaging all the components developed under prior SBIR efforts for ISS utilization and to create a test protocol for testing of the system on orbit for radiation effectiveness. The HEHO-PMWC and other Heat Melt Compactor technology has often been tested piecemeal. The proposed system will contain all systems including the primary processing chamber where the tiles are produced, any necessary avionics, and any necessary support equipment, which includes devices for air removal, contaminant and odor scrubbers, water degassers, and water handling. Plastic tiles output can be placed within the ISS or within the BEAM (ORBITEC has an excellent working relationship with Bigelow Aerospace). Any and all data gathered during on-orbit testing can be used by NASA to create the next generation of heat melt compaction technology for future manned spaceflight.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2014

The proposed Low Cost Nanolauncher (LCN) is an upper stage using a new, inexpensive propulsion system. The Phase I program will combine several technologies with a simple design strategy to produce a flight-weight propulsion system that is easy to fabricate and operate. Self pressurizing propellants will minimize complexity of the propulsion system and vortex cold-wall technology will be used to simplify the combustion chamber. An inexpensive, light weight nozzle is being developed by Pennsylvania State University using carbon phenolics. Commercially available components will be use where possible to further minimize costs. The Phase I LNC will demonstrate these technologies through ground testing of a flight-like propulsion system. A small launch vehicle second stage will be designed based on the experimental performance characteristics. This work will form the basis for a family of vehicle stages from smaller upper stages to a main booster stage. The low cost technologies and design methods employed in the LNC will reduce the cost of launching nanosatellites into orbit.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 125.00K | Year: 2014

In this project Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) will utilize its unique vortex propulsion technology to develop a high-capacity heating system to heat hydrogen to extremely high temperature levels. The heated hydrogen is to be used for test purposes for nuclear rocket propulsion simulations and total exhaust recovery applications. Our vortex rocket propulsion system is able to reliably and repeatedly operate at very high levels of reliability and operating temperature. This has been demonstrated through a large number of tests conducted over more than a decade using many different propellant combinations and engine sizes. The ORBITEC Vortex is an ideal thermal energy source for the needed hydrogen heating application. In phase 1, two hydrogen heating system concepts (based on the vortex approach) will be analyzed. Basic breadboard systems will be constructed and tested.and evaluated. The feasibility of extended duration hot hydrogen production will be demonstrated. In phase 2/3, a larger operational system will be developed, tested, delivered, and installed at the NASA Stennis Space Center.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 124.99K | Year: 2014

ORBITEC proposes to develop the Miniature Nontoxic Nitrous Oxide-Propane (MINNOP) propulsion system, a small bipropellant propulsion system which we offer as an alternative to miniature hydrazine monopropellant thrusters for CubeSat-class spacecraft. As compared to state-of-the-art hydrazine systems, MINNOP propulsion will provide significant increases in specific impulse (in bipropellant mode) and comparable levels of minimum impulse bit (in cold gas mode), and it will do so with a nontoxic, environmentally benign, self-pressurizing set of propellants. In Phase I, we will focus on demonstrating the operation of the bipropellant thrust chamber, and ignition of that chamber within appropriate weight constraints. Our preliminary propulsion system design is intended to occupy 1U of a 3U-size CubeSat.


Grant
Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 450.00K | Year: 2013

Convincing scientific evidence provides the association between dietary choices and chronic disease expression. Dietary guidelines now in place are designed to prevent the onset of such chronic diseases as tissue-specific cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and osteoporosis. The cornerstone of recommended dietary guidelines is increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Current USDA dietary guidelines recommend eating 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. However, average adult consumption in the United States is only 4.4 servings per day, with an estimated 42% of Americans eating & lt; 2 daily servings for fruits and vegetables. Consumption of vegetables provides the human diet with many essential vitamins and minerals important for health maintenance. Vegetables also contain secondary metabolite phytochemicals, which provide benefits beyond normal health maintenance and nutrition and play active roles in chronic disease reductions. If these beneficial compounds could be significantly increased in fresh fruits and vegetables through environmental manipulation, these "functional foods" could have a significant benefit to human health and well being. The objectives of the plant-based research projects will be to use the unique characteristics of LEDs to investigate the impact of various lighting parameters on the concentrations of: (1) nutritionally important carotenoid pigments; (2) organoleptic quality factors including glucosinolates; (3) mineral nutrient concentrations important in human nutrition; and (4) antioxidant compounds; in brassica and other leafy specialty crops, herbs, and tomatoes. These crops are high value, commercially important, and will serve as model systems to refine our hypotheses on the impacts of the use of LED systems as supplemental light in commercial protected culture systems. Results from Phase 1 established that specific wavelength LEDs have a positive impact on several plant metabolites (carotenoids, glucosinolates, minerals such as Ca) of importance in human nutrition. The information from these tests would likely apply to many other specialty food crops grown in greenhouses and other protected environments.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2014

The Zero Gravity Mass Measurement Device (ZGMMD) provides the ability to measure the mass of samples in a microgravity environment, like that found on the International Space Station (ISS). One of the primary measurements often taken during science experiments is mass. This is even more relevant in biology, where mass is often one of the key measurements taken for analysis. During the Phase I effort, a ZGMMD prototype was developed, tested, and demonstrated the feasibility of a means to determine the mass of samples less than 1kg, without the use of earth's gravity. The ZGMMD's innovative way of determining the mass, of low mass objects, in microgravity environments has been shown to be feasible, and effective. The Phase I prototype has shown to be able to provide great mass measurement capabilities, exceeding the Phase I requirements, specifically in accuracy and precision.

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