The target markets for the ACENT wave heater are commercial and government entities that require high temperature heating of gases to temperatures beyond the current state of the art using electrical or combustion-driven heat exchangers. Ongoing NASA efforts relating to Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) technology development require heating of hydrogen to temperatures well beyond conventional heating capability. ACENT is actively engaged in discussions with relevant personnel at NASA SSC and MSFC regarding possible heater development opportunities beyond this SBIR effort. Additionally, the hypersonics community within NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD) has a strong interest in the development of high temperature clean air heaters for high enthalpy wind tunnels.
In addition to Department of Defense applications for high enthalpy wind tunnel applications, the ACENT wave heater is pertinent to any application of gas heating above the temperature limits of conventional materials. Applications include manufacturing and material processing among others. Additional spin-off technologies currently under consideration include condensing wave rotors for CO2 separation and capture in addition to supercritical CO2 wave cycles that can enable efficient waste heat utilization.