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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Light Weight Spherical Cryotank, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

BHL? technology offers the means to reduce the mass of cryogenic propellant tanks by 75% relative to state-of-the-art metal tanks. Since propellant tanks are generally the largest individual mass item on a launch vehicle or spacecraft, this mass savings of this magnitude can have profound effect on vehicle performance. A conceptual design of a spherical BHL cryotank for the NASA Morpheus Lander shows an 80% reduction in mass from the existing aluminum cryotanks. Replacing all four metal tanks on Morpheus with BHL cryotanks would provide the lander with more than 15% additional ∆V. In the Phase II effort, GTL will develop a spherical BHL cryotank suitable for use on the Morpheus lander. This will include fabrication and testing of a full scale (48? diameter) developmental unit, followed by the fabrication and delivery of a prototype spherical BHL cryotank. This effort will also demonstrate the capability to integrate propellant management devices into the spherical BHL cryotank. More »

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