---------- OSD ----------

69 Phase I Selections from the 03.1 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
ANGEL SECURE NETWORKS, INC.
127 Washington St.
Belmont, MA 02478
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 489-7304
Mr. Fred Hewitt Smith
OSD 03-001       Awarded: 7/23/2003
Title:Preventing Reverse Engineering with a Random Obfuscating Compiler (ROC)
Abstract:We propose to build a Random Obfuscating Compiler (ROC), a tool and a process for systematic research and testing of strategies for protecting software from reverse engineering using differential analysis. The US is at war. Our enemies will strive to reverse engineer valuable legacy software ,in order to eliminate US strategic technological advantages, and sabotage critical system performance. We think the ROC is feasible now. Our investigators, Fred Smith, PI, and Benjamin Smith are experienced developers who have already produced somewhat similar software. They have been developing cyber security technologies which are crucial to countering reverse engineering for the past six years. Fred Smith has expertise in assembler, which is required to manipulate compiled executables and provides unique strategies for defeating differential analysis. The ROC will obfuscate executables and libraries given only the information in the binaries themselves. This technique can be inexpensively and rapidly applied to a large body of legacy software. The ROC will test strategies for detecting debuggers, disassemblers, falsified operating environments, protecting files and memory and obfuscating executables. ROC test results, a UML documented design, and a Phase I prototype will provide a basis for Phase II research on an integrated secure software processing system. The anticipated benefits for DoD are: ˙ Test results comparing efficacy of various reverse engineering strategies ˙ Testing of strategies for countering differential analysis of software applicaionts; ˙ At least one method of rapidly and inexpensively protecting legacy software from reverse engineering by obfuscating executables ˙ Development of techniques to detect hostile reverse engineering applications such as debuggers and disassemblers ˙ A method for automatically obfuscating executables, libraries, and other binaries ˙ Development of techniques to detect hostile reverse engineering applications such as debuggers and disassemblers ˙ Multiple, overlapping layers of security for critical software applications ˙ Defense against reverse engineering techniques that we think are presently only theoretical but are feasible ˙ Defeat side channel attacks ˙ Methods of authenticating network nodes used for HPC computing ˙ Capacity to prevent reverse engineering of an obfuscated executable ˙ Development of random confusion technology Potential commercial applications include: ˙ Army, Navy, and Air Force, all of which are developing new combat information systems which require protection from reverse engineering ˙ NASA ˙ A ROC for securities firms and banks which have an obligation to protect client information from disclosure and lots of legacy software they would like to protect without rewriting ˙ A ROC for software companies to use against industrial espionage

ARXAN TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
3000 Kent Avenue, Suite D2-100, Purdue Technology
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(765) 775-1004
Mr. Paul Morissette
OSD 03-001       Selected for Award
Title:Automatically protecting software against "diff" attacks
Abstract:Given two closely related pieces of software X and Y, where Y differs from X through a number of small but important (from a security point of view) modifications that were done to Y, the "diff" attack consists of comparing X and Y so as to pinpoint the fragments of code in which they differ. The differences between X and Y could include, among other things, the fact that Y contains credentials-checking mechanisms that were lacking in X, such as password protection, biometrically-based access controls, challenge-response protocol with a remote server, etc. Pinpointing those differences makes it easier for an attacker to defeat the security-related features of Y that the attacker dislikes (not only credentials-checking, but also integrity-checking and other kinds of policy-enforcement that the attacker wishes to circumvent). Re-writing Y from scratch (rather than modifying X) as a means of increasing the apparent differences between X and Y, especially if done using a different programming language, can be an effective way of thwarting this attack, but it is hugely uneconomical. It is therefore important to develop automated tools that process Y so that even the most sophisticated comparisons between X and Y reveal a large "diff set" between them, i.e., X and Y appear to be largely different even though in functionality they are very similar. The development of such automated tools and techniques is the main thrust of this proposal. Tampering with software presents a significant threat to government institutions and national security as well as to other organizations. A durable yet adaptable solution is needed that protects software platforms deployed inside and outside organizational firewalls. Arxan expects to develop products that will leverage both current and future research and development in the software protection area. Developing tools to thwart the "diff" attack will significantly benefit those firms that wish to deploy multiple versions of the same software.

ATC - NY
33 Thornwood Drive, Suite 500
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(607) 257-1975
Dr. David Guaspari
OSD 03-001       Awarded: 5/16/2003
Title:Dissimulation: A Defense Against Differential Software Analysis
Abstract:Adding protection to fielded software provides an attacker with a point of leverage: By comparing the original code (or executable) with the updated version, an attacker may be able to locate the "protective" modifications and thereby defeat them-even if those modifications succeed in preventing an attacker from reverse-engineering the code. ATC-NY will design and develop tools, called dissimulators, that defend against such attacks. The goal of dissimulation is to make semantically equivalent executions look superficially different (or different executions look superficially the same). As a result, it becomes difficult for automated tools to detect and distinguish those differences that are meaningful. ATC-NY's Dissimulator Tool Suite (DTS) will limit the usefulness of common algorithms that are likely to be the basis of such differential attacks-for example, algorithms that find the least common subsequence of two sequences. Obstructing these algorithms provides some protection against unanticipated attacks. Even if effective forms of protection are developed, differential attacks can nullify them. A defense against differential attacks provides enabling technology for adding protection to the existing military and commercial software base, or for upgrading protections that have been compromised. ATC-NY's Dissimulator Tool Suite will be useful for a variety of applications and will operate on standard computer systems. DTS will also provide defense against differential attack at a lower cost than techniques (such as recoding) that are currently available. We will also work to minimize performance degradation of the application software

REIFER CONSULTANTS, INC.
P.O. Box 4046
Torrance, CA 90510
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 530-4493
Mr. Donald J. Reifer
OSD 03-001       Awarded: 7/24/2003
Title:Innovative Differential Analysis Software Protection Aids
Abstract:The goal of this Phase I SBIR effort is to reduce the potential compromise of the protection hooks built into software when programs are updated due to differential analysis. To achieve this goal, RCI proposes to augment its proven software sneak circuit analysis methodology to shore up its strengths and compensate for any weaknesses identified relative to the threat. Augmentation will be accomplished by developing new software sneak circuit seeding algorithms designed specifically to counter the threat. In addition, a keypad relocation scheme will be produced to permit authorized users to remove sneak circuits in the field should they need to perform maintenance actions (i.e., patch, update, etc.). Besides being simple, robust, low cost and able to operate on most standard processors, software sneak circuits have been shown to both minimize performance degradation of real-time software operating in weapon systems and maximize the potential to collect forensic information about the exploiter and the exploitation attempt. To assess potential commercialization of the technology, RCI will conduct an aligned market survey and develop a business plan. They will also plan a technology demonstration should they be awarded a Phase II follow-on effort. Military and commercial software used in banking, gaming and gambling applications needs protection when placed in the field from tampering and exploitation attempts. Providing such protection presents an emerging niche market that is currently lacking tools, training and support. RCI believes that it can penetrate this market and become a leader by developing products and services that fill the current void. Besides providing military and commercial systems with needed protection, RCI believes that it can grow its business and make a profit by commercializing innovations in this marketplace.

RETHER NETWORKS, INC.
99 Mark Tree Road, suite 301
Centereach, NY 11720
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(631) 467-4381
Dr. Tzi-cker Chiueh
OSD 03-001       Awarded: 7/25/2003
Title:Differential Analysis Software Protection
Abstract:An effective attack method against standard software protection mechanisms is differential analysis, which compares multiple versions of the same protected program to identify their differences. If some of these versions are unprotected, the differences identified through differential analysis will reveal the software protection mechanisms used. In this proposal, we have proposed a three-pronged approach to counter software attacks based on differential analysis: (1) A polymorphic whole-program binary encryption tool ensures that different versions of the same program are syntactically different, (2) A metamorphic code decryption engine generator ensures that the decryption engines embedded in the final protected binaries are themselves different from one another without relying code encryption, and (3) Insertion of additional anti-reverse-engineering code into the run-time decryption engine ensures that attackers cannot easily apply commercial user-level debuggers to trace the instruction execution and thus uncover the underlying logic of the run-time decryption engine. There are two commercial endeavors that could potentially benefit greatly from the research and development of the binary program transformation technology described in this project. First, digital content management (DRM) systems can greatly benefit from the software protection provided by the counter-differential-analysis binary transformation technology, because it can prevent users from tampering and thus bypassing the DRM mechanism. Without proper software protection, DRM is essentially useless as a method to secure monetary revenues for digital content owners/providers. Second, the binary program transformation technology developed in this project will also play an important role in hiding the essential intellectual property underlying software programs from users of those systems of which the programs are a component. Examples of such systems include military/defense systems and any high-priced commercial embedded system products that are built on standard off-the-shelf hardware platforms.

TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, INC.
429 West Airline Highway, Suite S
LaPlace, LA 70068
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(985) 652-1127
Dr. Golden G. Richard, III
OSD 03-001       Awarded: 7/24/2003
Title:Differential Analysis Software Protection
Abstract:This Phase I Small Business Innovation Research Project will examine the technical feasibility of a robust, low cost software differential analysis shield (SoftDASh) that comprises several tools and methodologies for effectively countering differential analysis of application software. SoftDASh components will be optimized to operate on standard processors (e.g., ADM, Intel, Motorola, etc.) used in any computer system and to minimizes performance degradation of the application software. This development is important because differential analysis, a specific type of reverse engineering, can help pinpoint the locations of changes across released versions of software, potentially allowing newly introduced security features to be more easily defeated. The effort will examine various differential analysis techniques and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each technique. Based on that, innovative SoftDASh tools and techniques will be identified to counter those differential analysis techniques, including methods to prevent the use of reverse engineering tools such as debuggers and disassemblers, which aid in determining how software has changed across released versions. From those a set of tools and techniques will be recommended for incorporation into a SoftDASh prototype for demonstration in Phase II. Any computer application where software security is a concern would benefit from the SoftDASh technology, especially when the software is vulnerable to differential analysis. This includes applications software, which undergoes several releases to improve security, to introduce new access control mechanisms, or similar. The SoftDASh tools and technologies would be highly marketable in both the DoD and commercial sectors for protection of high-value software against differential analysis. The SoftDASh technology would also be applicable to any software already in widespread use (DoD or Commercial) where protection is desired for newer versions. The SoftDASh tools would be most beneficial for protection of costly special applications software packages that have limited distribution.

ARCHITECTURE TECHNOLOGY CORP.
9971 Valley View Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(952) 829-5864
Mr. Matthias H. Wollnick
OSD 03-002       Awarded: 6/16/2003
Title:High Speed Timed Idiosyncratic Signatures
Abstract:High Speed Timed Idiosyncratic Signatures Such an idiosyncratic signature will allow a publisher of software to key the program to certain computers and make moving of such software very difficult. This technology has high applicability for publishers of anti-piracy software as well as to ensure that sensitive software or information will not be moved to another location. This allows an overall increase of security against anyone trying to duplicate software that they are not authorized to do so.

BARRON ASSOC., INC.
1160 Pepsi Place, Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA 22901
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(434) 973-1215
Mr. Carl R. Elks
OSD 03-002       Awarded: 7/23/2003
Title:Idiosyncratic Computer Signatures used for Software Protection
Abstract:The Software Protection Initiative (SPI) calls for an ability to "lock-down or authenticate" a particular application executable to a specific computing platform. Current state of the practice to achieve this capability is to employ (1) electronic licensing protocols, (2) hardware dongles, or (3) disk volume IDs and, more recently, encrypted CPU IDs. All of these methods have their relative advantages and disadvantages, however, each of these used in themselves can be compromised with moderate cracking effort. As a result, there has been interest in the security community recently about the possibility of obtaining high quality idiosyncratic electronic signatures directly from a computing platform. The proposed research will demonstrate an approach to identify and detect such a unique "fingerprint" for individual computers. Rather than rely on a single feature, the proposed system will use sophisticated structure-learning classification algorithms to fuse data from inexpensive sensors to obtain a unique "fingerprint" based on both system and component-level features. The entire system will fit on an inexpensive PCI card, will be robust to slow changes in the signatures due to normal machine wear, and will be significantly more difficult to crack than currently-available methods. The proposed software security product will have significant military and commercial benefit. Mostly importantly, it will provide a level of secure authentication that is not achieved by any security approach currently in common use in a desktop computing environment. A second very important benefit will be the ease of use the proposed device offers. The device will be in standard PCI form factor, which is compatible with a large number of computing platforms. Such cards can be installed in just a few minutes by a person with only modest skill, and once installed are essentially invisible to the user. The inconvenience of an external device, possibly with separate power requirements, is avoided in the proposed product. Finally, when manufactured in modest numbers, the cards will be relatively inexpensive, making the system practical not only for highly secure, high cost systems, but for a wide variety of applications. In particular, we see the system being used not only when security is paramount, but also to protect moderate to high cost software products from piracy.

MOBILE-MIND, INC.
400 Talcott Avenue, Building 131 West
Watertown, MA 02472
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 926-6888
Mr. Scott Guthery
OSD 03-002       Awarded: 7/23/2003
Title:Idiosyncratic Computer Signatures Used for Software Protection
Abstract:During Phase I, Mobile-Mind will identify and analyze candidate hardware-generated signatures for software protection purposes. The target solution creates a tight, tamper-resistant binding between a specific software executable and a specific hardware execution platform. Unique, non-cloneable signature properties of the hardware are mixed with the software code and execution stream so that the software will run successfully only on the specific platform. Software binding techniques include cryptographically merging the hardware platform signatures with software computations so that the execution stream and results are valid only when the designated software is run on one specific machine. After establishing the range of feasible hardware signature sources, Mobile-Mind will assess the degree of difficulty of acquiring a consistently identifiable and unique signature from the selected sources, then proceed to test methodologies for establishing an appropriate software-hardware interface. Based on these results, Mobile-Mind will establish the ability of the signature to discriminate among a small number of identical platforms. Finally, Mobile-Mind will propose alternative methods for irrevocably binding the software to the unique signature of the computational platform and will recommend a process for building and testing selected end-to-end solutions that can be implemented as prototypes during Phase II. Successfully binding software execution to a specific computing platform will create a number of immediate security benefits for the Department of Defense, as well as generating significant commercial opportunities for software protection services and products. These benefits are summarized below and discussed in detail in the Commercialization Strategy section. Software Security Benefits ˙Locks down sensitive software programs and applications to a specific computing platform ˙Establishes a hardware barrier against information leakage due to software theft - software will not run independently from the designated hardware platform ˙Eliminates dependence on user-centric software protection routines and anti-theft policies ˙Potential for associating computer-generated output and results (including applications, data and documents) with the particular platform that created it ˙Potential for tracking any unauthorized software distribution or downloading back to the source hardware, allowing authorities to identify the source of attempted software theft Hardware Security Benefits ˙A computer with a unique hardware signature could potentially be configured to reject software that has not been authorized to interface with that signature, preventing users from running software programs not intended for that machine and preventing certain types of malicious software code from damaging that hardware platform. Commercial Applications ˙Commercial software protection products and services ˙Digital Rights Management solutions that bind media to its hardware player

SENSCI CORP.
1423 Powhatan Street, Suite 4
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(703) 836-1717
Mr. Norman Beam
OSD 03-002       Awarded: 7/22/2003
Title:Idiosyncratic Computer Signatures used for Software Protection
Abstract:Sensci will research development approaches and designs for a software protection system that relies on the characteristics of idiosyncratic computer signatures. Three candidate signatures types will be evaluated in detail during Phase I including remnant electromagnetic noise characteristics, block maps of magnetic media, and acoustic ?fingerprints?. The feasibility, strengths and weaknesses of each signature method will be examined, including additional hardware and software requirements of the software protection system design. It is anticipated that an software protection system based on idiosyncratic physical signatures will greatly benefit the government?s ability to prevent security breaches of critical system software, especially in environments where other technologies lack robustness, or which fall short of security needs.

ACCORD SOLUTIONS, INC.
3533 Albatross Street
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(619) 692-9476
Dr. Carl Murphy
OSD 03-003       Awarded: 7/24/2003
Title:Reconfigurable Processors for Software Protection
Abstract:The CipherProcessor architecture demonstrates reconfigurable opcodes unique to a specific processor or dynamically to a parallel environment and defined uniquely at compile time. Starting from a base of reconfigurable knowledge, Accord Solutions Inc will develop a reference design and demonstrate its viability. It incorporates an effective mechanism for delivery of compiled unique opcode binaries from development centers, with operation in standalone, multiuser and parallel modes. Accord will produce specification and performance projections from the CipherProcessor reference design, targeting advanced reconfigurable FPGAs, matrix driven array processors or System-on-Chip VLIW processors. A Cipherprocessor environment with a complete Fortran/ C++/ C path will be specified. The cost of compromise of the DoD's HPCMP National challenge software may be the cost of war, because application of this technology by enemies could lead to political instability. Less a threat but economically important is commercial software piracy. Protection of critical computational technology areas(CTAs) is thus vital. Cipherprocessor is a reference design that enables our embedded supercomputer products through software protection. In addition, licensing is planned to major processor chip manufacturers.

GATECHANGE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
115 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(610) 530-8600
Mr. Robert C. Klein, Jr.
OSD 03-003       Awarded: 7/29/2003
Title:Dynamic Instruction Set Reconfigurable Processor for Software Protection
Abstract:GateChange Technologies, Inc. has performed extensive research on reconfigurable devices and systems. This research has identified the key benefits and fundamental limitations of the existing solutions. GateChange developed the Dynamic Instruction Set Processor (DISP) in response to this research. DISP is an innovative, high-performance reconfigurable architecture that embodies new technology for software security and protection of intellectual property. This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I Project will produce a cycle-accurate simulator and a complete evaluation of DISP for software security, including comparison to extant solutions. DISP thwarts attempts to reverse engineer computer software codes or extract useful information from instruction streams through real-time creation and destruction of highly application specific, arbitrarily wide "virtual-instructions" (v-instructions). The processing elements within DISP are connected in a symmetrical, homogeneous 3-dimensional array. This connection scheme creates a translationally invariant computational fabric, allowing complex, pre-compiled v-instructions to be placed anywhere in the configurable fabric with no limitations. The dynamic instruction set obfuscates code at the machine level and prevents even brute-force hand disassembly of the code. The simulator developed through this program will allow complete benchmarking and characterization of DISP, demonstrating both its performance and its suitability for applications that require the utmost in software security. This SBIR grant will provide proof of concept and validate the Dynamic Instruction Set Processor (DISP) architecture. It will provide a clear indication of DISP's high processing performance and its suitability for applications that require the utmost in software security. The future of computing and communications is clearly wireless, hand-held, anywhere, anytime access. Software security and protection of intellectual property become increasingly important in such an environment. New hand-held multifunction devices will combine functions that are now separate. An example is the recent announcement of cellular phones that include web browsers and digital cameras. Future devices will add functions like GPS, personal video recording/editing, and additional personal entertainment options (MP3, video on-demand). Voice activation will be used for control and voice recognition will add a new level of privacy and security. These "convergence" applications demand the highest levels of performance on a small, low-power, and cost effective device. Through optimized, real-time re-use of physical silicon, the GateChange DISP device will create precisely the logic required for each task at hand in the least amount of silicon area. The intrinsic software security realized through dynamic reconfiguration makes the device attractive for communications and wireless applications, while the low power consumption suits the device for the rapidly expanding wireless and handheld marketspace.

LUNA INNOVATIONS, INC.
2851 Commerce Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(540) 558-1691
Mr. Anthony Spivey
OSD 03-003       Awarded: 8/3/2003
Title:Reconfigurable Processor Technology for Software Protection
Abstract:In today's world, wars can be won and lost through technological espionage as much as on the battlefield. Government computer systems must be safeguarded from computer hackers who seek to steal and undermine software applications. One promising technology for software protection is in reconfigurable processors: CPUs which change their opcodes dynamically. This technology holds the promise of being extremely difficult, if not impossible, to hack. Luna Innovations, along with Virginia Tech's Reconfigurable Computing group, seeks to research and design such a processor. This task will require expertise in hardware and software design as well as a clear understanding of the capabilities and challenges of reconfigurable processors. Luna's expertise in software and hardware design coupled with the Virginia Tech Reconfigurable Computing group's knowledge of processors will lead to a successful design. Reconfigurable processor technology has wide reaching application beyond the government sector. They could be used to safeguard software in business environments to prevent corporate espionage, or anywhere that the safeguarding of software applications is necessary.

QUICKFLEX, INC.
8409 Cambria
Austin, TX 78717
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(512) 255-4794
Mr. Michael Wiles
OSD 03-003       Awarded: 7/30/2003
Title:Q-Crypto Reconfigurable Instruction Set Processor
Abstract:The dramatic improvements in tools to reverse engineer facsimiles of application source code from processor-specific executable files, plus highly subsidized adversarial foreign government-funded organizations using these tools, create threats to vital US government and commercial software. To protect legacy applications and existing systems we propose an add-in solution that requires little modification to existing software code while simultaneously providing for secure future solutions. This addresses OSD's challenges of protecting critical software by providing a reconfigurable instruction set processor to protect software opcodes. The project will build upon the proven concepts of reconfigurable instruction set processor architectures and extend them to include both scrambled and encrypted opcodes. The approach will build upon existing SRAM-based FPGA technologies from QuickFlex and market leader Xilinx to build the Reconfigurable Instruction Set Processor (RISP). Previously traditional processors only executed one instruction set because of the high cost of design and support. Now with these automated tools, large FPGAs, and the unique QuickFlex middleware for managing virtual objects we have the opportunity to produce this processor. These processors may also be extended with instruction sets optimized at the target application to improve performance and reduce added hardware costs. The QuickFlex Q-Crypto Reconfigurable Instruction Set Processor (RISP) will protect critical software intellectual property (IP) from reverse engineering with reconfigurable instructions that create new code each time the software is used. Our RISP solutions will help protect key government and commercial applications from reverse engineering, code manipulation, and attack. The proposed RISP with scrambled opcodes that are encrypted should be of great interest to the government and commercial markets. The ability to provide runtime reconfigurations of software opcode in the hardware coupled with encryption is a significant step forward in the protection of applications. Beyond our nation's key unclassified and classified government infrastructure solutions and specialized military applications, industries that need to protect sensitive non-runtime and runtime software solutions include: various software vendors, banking and financial institutions, e-commerce providers, medical solution providers, and others.

SYSTRAN FEDERAL CORP.
4027 Colonel Glenn Highway, Suite 210
Dayton, OH 45431
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(937) 429-9008
Dr. Joseph Fernando
OSD 03-003       Awarded: 7/21/2003
Title:Reconfigurable Processors for Software Protection
Abstract:Systran Federal Corporation is proposing to solve the software protection problem by developing a reconfigurable processor, in which the opcode instruction set could be changed. We are proposing the development of the tools and the mechanisms that are required for a reconfigurable processor with a variable opcode instruction set, to defeat any effort to reverse engineer the protected software. Each time source code is compiled targeting a system, the software tools, such as, the assembler used to generate the executable code, should know the instruction set that is used in that particular system. When the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) design tools are available the instruction set could be modified and a new instruction set incorporated to the reconfigurable processor. The processor will be embedded in the FPGA such that the pins cannot be accessed using hardware. We are also proposing another method based on encrypting the executable code. In this method, we propose to encrypt the executable code that is targeted to be executed on the reconfigurable processor. The instruction set of the reconfigurable processor would not be reprogrammable. However, the executable code is assumed to be encrypted using a set of keys of a known length. The instructions will be decrypted using the set of keys that is unique to each processor. The decryption module and the set of keys are embedded at design time in the FPGA and are not visible by software. The keys are assumed to be of adequate length such that it will require an enormous amount of time to do a comprehensive analysis when the decryption algorithm is known. The decryption module and the processor would be embedded in the FPGA such that the pins cannot be accessed using hardware. The main benefit of this effort would be that an executable program software could be protected from reverse engineering using a variable opcode instruction set reconfigurable processor.

ARCHITECTURE TECHNOLOGY CORP.
9971 Valley View Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(952) 829-5864
Mr. Kevin S. Millikin
OSD 03-004       Awarded: 5/16/2003
Title:Automatic Generation of Embedded Interpreters for Software Protection
Abstract:We begin with the observation that table interpretation, or embedded interpreters, is an effective technique for software reverse engineering protection. The scientific literature does not indicate any attempt to address the technical problems required to implement table interpretation as a general automatic software protection technique. We propose an architecture that is capable of automatically generating a specification of an abstract machine, randomly permuted along several axes. Preexisting binary programs are then translated to programs for the abstract machine, either by a hand coded translator, or by an automatically generated translator. We propose to build a hand-coded embedded interpreter implementation as a proof of concept of the feasibility of the approach, and as a demonstration of the runtime slowdown involved. This architecture will allow engineers to automatically employ a technique that is recognized as highly effective by the obfuscation community. The end product will be an automatic obfuscation module that can automatically perform the transformation, subject to as much control over the parameterization of the embedded interpreter as the user desires.

EXCEPTIONAL SOFTWARE STRATEGIES, INC.
849 International Drive, Suite 310
Linthicum, MD 21090
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(410) 694-0240
Mr. Robert Seger
OSD 03-004       Awarded: 8/3/2003
Title:Protecting Software Binaries from Reverse Engineering
Abstract:This proposal is to create an application that protects software binaries from reverse engineering. The goal of phase I is to develop a design by which such an application can be created in phase II. By carefully studying current reverse engineering techniques, along with current software protection schemes, we will be able to identify strong protections and create dynamic new ones to be used in a Constantly Altering Guarded Environment (CAGE). CAGE will be a second-generation, mutating, software protection application. It will strategically employ techniques for defending precompiled binaries from reverse engineering in such a manner as to have no logical weaknesses, and no single point of failure. CAGE will dynamically alter its protection on two distinct levels: with every execution of the protected binary and every compile of CAGE itself. This two-tiered mutation will prevent both specific breaches in protection, and any development of a general tool for breaching its protection. As CAGE will be deployable on any Windows 16- or 32-bit application, the potential market for it is considerable. Its applications range from protecting proprietary and government sensitive algorithms to reviving the shareware community.

GRAMMATECH, INC.
317 N. Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(607) 273-7340
Dr. David Melski
OSD 03-004       Awarded: 7/23/2003
Title:Defenses against Reverse Engineering
Abstract:Existing software systems face the threat of reverse engineering. Given enough time and resources, a determined hacker can recover the design of a software program by examining its binary. The consequences of this can be dramatic: the hacker may gain unauthorized access to sensitive computer systems, allowing him to wreak untold havoc. At worst, this may allow him to compromise national security, or to perpetrate a terrorist attack. A more common result is for the hacker to "crack" software protection, thereby enabling illegal and widespread dissemination of the intellectual property rights found in, or protected by, the hacked software. During Phase I, GrammaTech will investigate tools and techniques for reverse engineering, investigate innovative defenses that prevent reverse engineering, and design a tool that will add protection against reverse engineering to a software binary. To accomplish these tasks, GrammaTech will draw on its expertise in static analysis, expertise in dynamic analysis, and experience building code understanding tools for C/C++ and x86 assembly. The commercial potential for strong software protection is huge. Software companies lose billions of dollars to software piracy. Furthermore, techniques and tools that offer protection against reverse engineering would be invaluable for increasing the security of software systems. Thus, there are both DoD and commercial applications. Any software application with security, or digital-rights management concerns needs the software protection our tool will provide.

IP VIGIL
777 29th Street, Suite 201
Boulder, CO 80303
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 544-1978
Mr. Mark Yager
OSD 03-004       Awarded: 8/4/2003
Title:Onion Layered Protections
Abstract:Valuable DoD codes are not threated by sleep and date deprived teenage crackers... instead, they will be attacked by tiger teams of cryptographers, mathematicians, and coders. Clearly, state-of-the-art techniques are needed. We propose multi-layered, tailorable combinations of anti-debugging, obfuscation, and cryptographic protections. Commercial software vendors are estimated to lose $14B a year to piracy. This effort will result in sophisticated, integrated techniques for protecting the US software industry.

KESTREL TECHNOLOGY LLC
3260 Hillview Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(650) 320-8888
Dr. Eric Bush
OSD 03-004       Awarded: 7/23/2003
Title:Protecting Software Binaries from Reverse Engineering
Abstract:In the context of the Software Protection Initiative, Binary Obfuscation is a technique for transforming existing software binaries into behaviorally equivalent programs that are difficult for an adversary to reverse engineer. Obfuscation is the the most widely applicable protection technique for defeating reverse engineering because its protections operate even when an adversary knows the target operating system and processor, and has uncontrolled access to a static copy of the binary. Existing approaches to obfuscation are targeted at obscuring the algorithmic structure of the implementation of software in order to impede the abstraction of this structure by a reverse engineer. Such structural obfuscation techniques are largely impotent in the face of a new approach to reverse engineering, what we call Model Theoretic Reverse Engineering (MTRE), that relies only on the symbolically interpreted input/output behavior of the target software, ignoring its implementation structure. The model theoretic approach represents both a promising technology for benign uses of reverse engineering and a largely uncovered liability for the prevention of hostile reverse engineering. It involves the (abstract) interpretation of the target binary to produce models of the program's input/output, which are then fed to an inductive synthesizer to reconstruct a concise specification in logic of the original program. Although the application of this inductive synthesis technology to reverse engineering is somewhat novel, the technology itself is quite well known and has been broadly developed for uses in software construction, program debugging, and program analysis over the last decade. Its inevitable use in reverse engineering will effectively wipe out the protections offered by most current binary obfuscation techniques. We propose to study the model theoretic approach to reverse engineering to isolate the kinds of obfuscations that might disrupt or impede re-synthesis of program specifications by behavioral interpretation. These obfuscations will be different in kind from those currently used to disrupt structural reverse engineering. We also expect to advance the feasibility of benign uses of this technology for applications where reverse engineering is desirable. Anticipated Benefits We anticipate that our research will uncover practical limitations of inductive re-synthesis that can be exploited to protect software binaries from MTRE. Such results should be directly relevant to Defense Agency programs for protecting binaries under the Software Protection Initiative, since they cover a class of reverse engineering techniques not yet addressed in the literature, but immune to most published obfuscation techniques. These results should also be beneficial to business and industry in the protection of Java Class Files from reverse engineering. We also expect that our research will be beneficial for benign uses of reverse engineering, where the recovery of program specifications is needed to enable reimplementation and integration of legacy systems. The dual use of this technology in support of reverse engineering should be naturally disjoint with its use in preventing it, because the kind of program obfuscations needed to impede model synthesis are not likely to occur in the normal case of program development, including performance optimization. Potential Commercial Applications Post phase II commercialization of the research proposed here would most naturally be in the form of custom development contracts with specific DoD clients to develop binary obfuscation techniques for specific processor and operating system environments, and perhaps specific application domains. We would also anticipate the use of this technology in engagements involving enhancement, integration or re-implementation of existing software through reverse engineering, or verification/certification of properties of existing software through reverse engineering, in both DoD and business markets.

KOLAKA NO`EAU, INC.
P.O. Box 667, 11-3811 11th St
Volcano, HI 96785
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(626) 305-7369
Mr. Randy Brumbaugh
OSD 03-004       Awarded: 7/24/2003
Title:Fragmentation and Distributed Execution for Protection Against Reverse Engineering
Abstract:This innovation is a software interpretation of the ancient technique of authentication by breaking a coin or shell into two jagged halves. Later, aligning the halves exactly verifies the identity of the bearers. A similar approach can be applied to protecting binary versions of software: The binary sequence of instructions is "broken" into two or more fragments. To execute the fragmented code, each fragment is executed simultaneously by an element of a synchronized, distributed virtual machine. The VM elements, when properly synchronized, emulate the behavior of the original code executed on a single machine. The approach frustrates reverse-engineering efforts because none of the virtual machines has access to the complete set of binary instructions, and each code fragment will not execute or offer complete information about the design or algorithms. The need for improvement in software security is a major issue identified by government and industry. Much of the value in software is in the underlying algorithms and techniques which may be compromised by reverse engineering distributed binaries. In many cases these algorithms represent valuable trade secrets, classified information or are sensitive and must be protected. The ability to distribute executable software with less risk of compromising secrets will be valuable to almost every organization which creates or uses software. This technology also has applications to digital asset management-controlling distribution and viewing of copyrighted media.

ATC - NY
33 Thornwood Drive, Suite 500
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(607) 257-1975
Ms. Carla Marceau
OSD 03-005       Awarded: 5/16/2003
Title:TSPI: Transparent Software Protection Infrastructure
Abstract:Software theft causes tremendous financial losses to software companies. Theft of trade secrets and critical national security information embedded in software can lead to further financial losses or even jeopardize national security. Various techniques have been developed to protect software after its release. However, hackers can break in and steal software directly from the development site. To protect against such losses, ATC-NY proposes to develop a Transparent Software Protection Infrastructure (TSPI) for protecting software under development. A Protected File System stores the code in encrypted form to protect it from unauthorized access. TSPI enables developers to access the encrypted code using normal development system interfaces, but will prevent developers from making ill-advised shortcuts and mistakes that could inadvertently expose the source code to thieves. A strong emphasis on usability will ensure that developers are not hampered in their work. To minimize unnecessary access to protected code, TSPI will incorporate a fine-grained access control mechanism, reflecting the software development workflow. It will also provide checks on external code being added to the protected environment, as well as the ability to release completed code in a controlled manner. TSPI will sharply reduce the risk that software will be stolen from the development environment. It will encrypt software to ensure that thieves who break into the development system cannot steal it. It will prevent developers from inadvertently exposing the software to potential thieves. By logging developer activities, it will provide strong incentives for developers to follow software protection policies. Our wrapper approach to implementation will enable TSPI to be quickly adapted to multiple development environments. Thus, developers will not have to abandon their current environment in order to gain TSPI's advantages. Further, maintenance is expected to be minimal, since TSPI does not depend on the development system, but on its use of the underlying platform.

INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY, INC.
2800 28th Street, Suite 306
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(310) 581-5442
Dr. Azad M. Madni
OSD 03-005       Awarded: 7/25/2003
Title:Application SentinelT: Tool Suite for Software Protection During Development
Abstract:With recent events on the political scene, the DoD's Software Protection Initiative (SPI) is committed to developing tools and methods for "securing" the software development environment by adding capabilities that provide systemic protection of intellectual property that are key to national security. "Protecting software during the development stage while enabling use by appropriate parties" is a critical theme of the SPI. With this overarching goal in mind, the DoD is interested in protecting both binary and source code against theft and piracy. To this end, the DoD is interested in preserving and documenting the version history (i.e., pedigree) of application software and maintaining a systematic record of all who accessed the evolving code during the entire development process. Furthermore, the DoD is interested in ensuring that an application is protected from inadvertent distribution and reuse of its components. Phase I of this effort is concerned with the identification of an innovative methodology and tool suite that achieves these objectives individually or collectively. Protection of high value software and anti-piracy assurance will assure the security of the nation and the protection of intellectual property of commercial enterprises. This software tool suite would be highly marketable in the DoD through SPI as well as in the commercial arena to major software vendors, aerospace companies, and all organizations interested in protecting and maintaining control of their intellectual property.

IP VIGIL
777 29th Street, Suite 201
Boulder, CO 80303
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 544-1978
Mr. Mark Yager
OSD 03-005       Awarded: 7/30/2003
Title:State-of-the-Art Innovations To Protect Against Theft, Viruses, and Malware
Abstract:We propose a suite of tools to: Prevent theft via automatic encryption and password entry; Use an application's pedigree to identify vulnerabilities, recommend protections, and prevent unauthorized execution; Automatically scan for viruses, worms, and trojan horses; Detect malicious components via invisible fingerprints and covert biometrics. These tools are language and OS independent. Protection against theft and malware is a growing problem for software development. No commercial applications exist which protect the unique issues confronting source, objects, and executables in a nascent application. Our approach applies systemic protection to software development and more broadly to intellectual property.

BUSEK CO., INC.
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA 01760
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(508) 655-5565
Dr. James Szabo
OSD 03-006       Awarded: 5/20/2003
Title:Low Mass 20 kW Hall Thruster
Abstract:To meet DoD requirements for high power Hall thruster technologies that significantly improve operating characteristics and reduce life cycle costs, Busek proposes to develop a very low-mass, 20-kW class Hall thruster suitable for a wide range of missions in Earth orbit. The design benefits from a unique magnetic circuit. The predicted mass of the magnetic structure and coil is about half that of a conventional design. Thrust efficiencies in excess of 65% are predicted. Electromagnetic emissions may also be low. The design is especially suitable for clustering because of the proposed magnetic arrangement. In Phase I, Busek will generate mechanical drawings, build a 20-kW prototype, measure its magnetic field on the bench, and measure the thrust it produces at nominal operating conditions. In the first half of Phase II, the lab prototype will be subjected to a more extensive series of tests to demonstrate bimodal capabilities. Plasma simulations and erosion measurements would validate the predicted lifetime, which is >10,000 hours. Plume testing would include measurements of ion current, ion energy distribution, and doubly charged ions. In the second half of Phase II, an engineering model low-mass 20-kW will be developed, tested, and delivered. The Phase I program will give Busek an extremely low mass, long life axisymmetric Hall thruster suitable for operation alone or for clustering. Once developed into a flight thruster, this can be marketed commercially for all types of high power EP missions involving station-keeping, repositioning, and orbit transfer. Busek plans to develop the engineering model into a commercial product. The low mass of this thruster with respect to other designs will make it the product of choice for high power missions experiencing mass constraints. The thruster can function alone or in a simple cluster. Reasonably sized clusters could fulfill mission needs anywhere from 20-kW to 200-kW. DoD applications such as space based radar and a space tug would directly benefit. Fast orbit transfer of high-power communications and surveillance satellites would also be enabled. NASA planners envision many missions requiring high Isp propulsion systems rated at hundreds of kilowatts and even megawatts. For these missions, long lifetime is crucial. Due to ground testing constraints, spacecraft architectures, and reliability and redundancy issues, a multiple thruster approach makes sense. The lightweight, 20-kW thruster will be ideal for many of these missions, such as a NEP system for missions to the outer planets, LEO to GEO transfer of "Sun Tower" components, a space tugboat to ferry satellites from LEO to GEO, and International Space Station reboost.

BUSEK CO., INC.
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA 01760
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(508) 655-5565
Dr. James Szabo
OSD 03-006       Awarded: 5/20/2003
Title:Bimodal Bismuth Vapor Hall Thruster
Abstract:Busek proposes to develop a high power, bismuth vapor Hall thruster for bimodal and high thrust missions. Published Soviet data lists experimental thrust efficiencies of 75-80%. Maximum thrust to power may be 70% greater than possible with xenon. Thrust to thruster mass is also higher and mission enabling high thrust, Isp~1000 sec operating points are possible. Fuel efficient Isp~2500 sec operating points are also possible. A more tenuous charge exchange plasma should decrease discharge chamber erosion, increasing total impulse (longer lifetime), and mitigating spacecraft interactions. A high-power system could be tested in existing facilities, minimizing ground test costs; water cooled panels could condense the Bi, eliminating requirements for new, multi-million dollar cryogenic facilities. Challenges include possible spacecraft contamination issues and more complicated propellant handling, although propellant storage will be compact. In Phase I, Busek will design a Bi Hall thruster and propellant feed system. We will analyze the design using our in-house suite of numerical models. Accumulation of Bi on heated and cooled surfaces will be tested under vacuum. Spacecraft interactions will be studied in cooperation with The Aerospace Corporation. In Phase II, Busek will design, build, and test a sub-scale thruster. We will also design a full-scale thruster. The development of a high thrust, bimodal bismuth Hall thruster represents a significant opportunity for Busek to capture the market for high thrust electric propulsion missions. Xenon Hall thrusters are typically used for station-keeping, re-positioning, and orbit transfer. But in many applications, one would like a Hall thruster with a lower specific impulse than possible with Xe to get a higher thrust to power ratio, even at the cost of using more fuel. With limited power available, mission requirements for trip time, in particular, are much better met by bimodal bismuth thrusters. Bismuth Hall thrusters will have higher thrust to power, higher thrust to thruster mass, higher total impulse, and cheaper ground test costs than Xe thruster alternatives. Likely DoD applications include fast repositioning of surveillance and communications satellites, orbit insertion, and a space tug. High power communication satellites may also use Bi thrusters for station-keeping, pending interactions issues. NASA applications include Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), space station re-boost, and boosting elements of a space solar collection satellite from LEO to GEO. For NASA and commercial applications, the cheapness of the raw propellant will be an additional benefit. The solid propellant feed system will have its own commercial applications; a host of other solid propellants could conceivably be used in Hall thrusters and other plasma devices for material processing applications.

MICROCOATING TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
5315 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30341
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(678) 287-2407
Dr. Jan Hwang
OSD 03-006       Awarded: 5/6/2003
Title:High Power Hall Thruster Technology Development
Abstract:MicroCoating Technologies, Inc. (MCT), with Aerojet, proposes to develop high field strength dielectric thin films for high power Hall thrusters that will directly and significantly enhance the thrust-to-thruster mass to power ratios. By utilizing its proprietary Combustion Chemical Vapor Deposition (CCVD) process, unique flexibility will be achieved in economically depositing on large areas of rolled metals and irregularly shaped surface cores. In the Phase I, MCT will demonstrate this capability by depositing materials such as alumina, boron nitride, aluminum nitride, silicon nitride as dense thin films on metal foil substrates with excellent thickness uniformity (and pinhole free), high adhesion, dielectric properties, planarity and superior thermal shock capability. The Phase II development will end with the delivery to the Air Force of an economic Hall thruster operating at 20kW with a 50% mass reduction compared to current methods of manufacturing, which will enable significant application in space. This deposition technology will allow innovation in the development of revolutionary Hall thrusters that will be the desired positioning system then for most DOD and commercial space applications. In addition to military space applications, the product has direct application in the microelectronics and the power electronics industry, which desires high field strength insulators with reasonable thermal conductivity. The worldwide market for the power electronics industry is estimated at over $2 billion for the current year and growing due to the drive for higher efficiencies.

METSS CORP.
300 Westdale Avenue
Westerville, OH 43082
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(614) 797-2200
Dr. Richard S. Sapienza
OSD 03-007       Awarded: 5/30/2003
Title:Decomposition Characterization and Optimization for Monopropulsion Systems for Spacecraft
Abstract:This program seeks to develop a means of initiating a repeatable, reliable exothermic decomposition of USAF developed high performance Hydroxyl Ammonium Nitrate (HAN) based monopropellants, over a range of demanding mission duty cycles with short delay times and predictable performance over long storage times. Catalysts do not have the high temperature or oxidation resistance required by these USAF developed HAN based monopropellants to support the program objectives. However, these materials should be susceptible to initiation, or self-sustained energy release, when present in sufficient quantities and exposed to stimuli such as heat, shock, friction, chemical incompatibility, or electrostatic discharge. Under the proposed program, METSS proposes to conduct a study to develop an initiator/sensitizer for HAN based monopropellants by exploiting the exothermic decomposition properties of the amine nitrates. Furthermore, METSS will demonstrate that the formulations synthesized under this program will decompose HAN at concentrations of 2-5%. Chemicals dispersed with the fuel will react with one another or the fuel over a nozzle structural surface generating heat from the reaction sufficient to either start or speed up the monopropellant decomposition reaction. The chemical initiator composition will be selected for specific characteristics: high thermal stability, fast response, sustained thermal output, and high short-term peak energy. Specifically, the work will emphasize the pre-existing technologies of azo polymer initiators and the reduction of nitrate by an added reducing agent, and recent developments that can convert nitrate in water into environmentally benign gaseous nitrogen. METSS believes that high activity, low cost initiators can be developed using this approach that will decompose the HAN fuel. This project will demonstrate a complete, cost effective technology. In addition to military interests, there is a wide range of commercial uses for HAN, ranging from pharmaceutical products to re-processing nuclear fuels. A versatile chemical, HAN can also be used as an oxidizer or reducing agent in applications such as photographic developing, semiconductor manufacturing and as a high performance fuel additive, propellant or gas generator for mining, boring and other operations. The use of existing commercially available processing equipment and the existing commercial market make the transition of this methodology into the commercial environment technically and financially feasible.

SIENNA TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
19501 144th Avenue NE, Suite F-500
Woodinville, WA 98072
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(425) 485-7272
Dr. Ender Savrun
OSD 03-007       Awarded: 5/30/2003
Title:Laser Ignition of HAN-Based Monopropellants
Abstract:This SBIR program will demonstrate the potential of laser ignition to initiate decomposition of the USAF developed HAN-based monopropellants. The interaction of a series of HAN-based monopropellants with electromagnetic radiation over 0.2 microns to 11.0 microns will be characterized to identify the laser wavelength for maximum absorption. Laser ignition experiments in the wavelength region of maximum absorption will be performed to establish a relationship between laser power requirement and sample volume for ignition for a given monopropellant. The developed laser ignition technology for HAN-based monopropellants will provide an enabling technology for many military and commercial applications. The commercial applications include communications and imaging satellites, companions to large satellites to provide surveillance and inspection capabilities such as to monitor and assure proper deployment of solar panels.

SIENNA TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
19501 144th Avenue NE, Suite F-500
Woodinville, WA 98072
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(425) 485-7272
Dr. Ender Savrun
OSD 03-007       Awarded: 5/30/2003
Title:Microwave Ignition of HAN-Based Monopropellants
Abstract:This SBIR program will demonstrate the potential of microwave dielectric heating to ignite the USAF developed HAN-based monopropellants. Complex permittivity measurements on a series of HAN-based monopropellants will be carried out to identify the frequency region for maximum microwave absorption. Microwave dielectric heating experiments in the frequency region of maximum absorption will be performed to establish a relationship between microwave power requirement and sample volume for ignition for a given monopropellant. The developed microwave ignition technology for HAN-based monopropellants will provide an enabling technology for many military and commercial applications. The commercial applications include communications and imaging satellites, companions to large satellites to provide surveillance and inspection capabilities such as to monitor and assure proper deployment of solar panels.

ULTRAMET
12173 Montague Street
Pacoima, CA 91331
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 899-0236
Dr. Arthur J. Fortini
OSD 03-007       Awarded: 6/16/2003
Title:Catalytic Ignition System for Advanced Boost-Phase Intercept Applications
Abstract:Phase III IHPRPT goals call for a 70% increase in density Isp for monopropellant systems. Advanced HAN-based monopropellants such as AF-m315 have the potential not only to exceed this goal, but also to exceed the density Isp of NTO/MMH. But before such propellants can be commercialized, a reliable ignition system must be developed. While a heated bed of Shell-405 catalyst can ignite the propellant, the catalyst support is unable to survive for more than a few seconds. A reliable catalytic ignition system is thus a required, enabling technology. Development of such a catalyst will enable performance increases well beyond the IHPRPT goals. By some estimates, the performance increase can be as high as 78% or even 80%, and would hence be ideal for the most demanding applications. Ultramet has completed several projects directed toward the development of a catalytic ignition system for HAN-based monopropellants, and many key developments have been made. Ultramet has previously demonstrated room temperature exothermic activity (<25 C onset temperature) with several different catalyst/propellant combinations, and extremely fast activity in spot plate testing with others. The most reactive catalysts at room temperature were those that did not utilize a platinum group metal. Ultramet has also identified and/or synthesized high surface area, high melting point, oxidation-resistant support materials with surface areas in excess of 2800 m2/cm3 and melting points in excess of 2750 C. This compares very favorably with the support used for Shell-405, which has a surface area of only ~800 m2/cm3 and decomposes to alpha-Al2O3 at ~1100 C. In this project, Ultramet will take the knowledge gained in the previous work and combine it into a catalyst/support combination wherein the support is catalytically active and can assist in decomposing the propellant if/when the overlying catalyst (e.g. iridium) is chemically etched and removed from the support. The goal will be to reliably ignite HAN-based monopropellants at low temperature using a catalyst that can tolerate prolonged time at operating temperature. The proposed technology will make the use of advanced, environmentally friendly, high-performance monopropellants a reality. This will not only eliminate the use of toxic propellants such as hydrazine, but also allow the use of propellant blends that promise a dramatic increase in density specific impulse relative to hydrazine.

BUSEK CO., INC.
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA 01760
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(508) 655-5565
Mr. Bruce Pote
OSD 03-008       Awarded: 6/6/2003
Title:Extended Lifetime Low Power Hall Thrusters
Abstract:The Air Force has identified low power Hall thrusters as critical for mass and power limited satellites. Propulsion requirements include, maneuvering, precise formation flying, stationkeeping and extensive drag make-up. Busek's 200 W Hall thruster has the demonstrated performance characteristics of pulse operation and high thrust efficiency and specific impulse to provide all microsatellite propulsion needs. However, system lifetimes greater than 3000 hours are envisioned to meet mission needs for inspection, servicing and sparse aperture formation flying. At present, Busek's 200 W Hall thruster has not demonstrated this mission requirement. A Hall thruster's operating lifetime is dictated by sputter erosion of surfaces in contact with the high-energy ion beam. The highest erosion rates typically occur on the insulator surfaces near the exit plane of the thruster. In the proposed Phase I program, we will improve the lifetime of our 200 W Hall thruster through a combination of magnetic field shaping, neutral flow distribution, improved sputter resistant materials and design changes to the discharge region of the thruster. Busek will also develop and validate a method for numerically predicting the lifetime of the thruster using advanced plasma simulations that track particles impacting the walls and account for erosion induced geometry changes to the discharge channel over time. In Phase II, an upgraded design will be prepared and a 3000 hour lifetest performed. Busek's low power Hall thruster can fulfill all the propulsion needs on low mass and power limited microsatellites. Developing a long life thruster will open additional mission opportunities where long mission duration and/or continuous thrusting are requisites. Also science and earth observation micro satellites that need extensive drag make-up (high DV) can be met with a long life thruster. The thruster could also be used for deorbiting of both small and large satellites at EOL as is now mandated by recent regulations.

BUSEK CO., INC.
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA 01760
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(508) 655-5565
Mr. Lawrence T. Byrne
OSD 03-008       Awarded: 6/6/2003
Title:High Performance Micro PPT
Abstract:The proposed phase I program will identify and initiate the development of advanced versions of the state-of-the-art microPPT. There currently exist applications for the micro PPT that could benefit from larger impulse bits and/or larger total impulse, i.e. primary propulsion and/or ACS for microsatellites. To facilitate the applicability of the micro PPT for these varying missions several advanced concepts will be investigated. The first application will be an advanced version capable of delivering higher impulse bit levels. This will be accomplished using a fixed discharge location to maximize performance. The use of applied magnetic fields to augment the Lorentz force will also be investigated. The second application will be an extension of the total impulse of the system. Options that will be investigated include the use of multiple parallel propellant sticks in various geometries. The applicability of active shaping of the discharge current will be examined to achieve improved propellant utilization. To augment these investigations numerical modeling of the fundamental discharge physics will be undertaken. This will aid in the understanding of the operation of the micro PPT as well as provide a tool for tailoring the micro PPTs performance for a particular market. The overall goal of this effort is a higher performance micro PPT and risk reduction for both the TechSat 21 and FalconSat 3 programs. The micro PPT has many potential applications in the small to nano-class of satellites. The micro PPTs low mass/volume, low average power consumption, and simple operation make them ideally suited for attitude control systems as well as primary propulsion on nanosats. The micro PPTs ability to provide impulse bits on the micro N-sec level allows for precision pointing of scientific or military payloads. Coupled with next generation micromechanical attitude determination technologies the micro PPT can provide a complete ADCS package at a fraction of the mass and power of a traditional momentum wheel/magnetic torquer system. Their greatest benefit of the micro PPT will be to micro and nanosats where propulsive ACS may not have been an option in the past due to mass or power constraints.

BUSEK CO., INC.
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA 01760
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(508) 655-5565
Dr. Manuel Gamero-Castano
OSD 03-008       Awarded: 6/6/2003
Title:Slit Colloid Thrusters Using Ionic Liquid Propellants
Abstract:Currently there are no efficient electric propulsion engines performing in the milli-Newton thrust range, a capability needed for primary and ACS microsatellite propulsion. We propose to develop a slit colloid thrusters using ionic liquids as propellant, which will fill this propulsive niche. We anticipate the following propulsive parameters: a thrust per slit colloid thruster of the order of 1 mN, a propulsive efficiency of the order of 70%, and a specific impulse of approximately 1000 sec. The choice of ionic liquids as propellants is essential for the proposed effort. Their general properties (mainly negligible vapor pressure and large electrical conductivity) make them the propellant of choice for colloid thrusters. The large variety of ionic liquids that we can choose from will make it possible to optimize the thruster, and achieve the propulsive parameter goals above mentioned. Alternatively, if the choice of ionic liquid were restricted to a list with unique properties, the electrospraying of the candidates can be engineered to achieve the propulsive goals. This family of microthruster will fulfill the primary and ACS propulsion required by micro/nanosatellites. Their performance (especific impulse and efficiency) will be superior to that of its immediate competitor, the FEEPs developed in Europe. Slit colloid thrusters will enable the expected proliferation of clusters and constellations of micro/nano-satellites for communications, surveillance and aggressive science missions.

BUSEK CO., INC.
11 Tech Circle
Natick, MA 01760
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(508) 655-5565
Mr. Bruce Pote
OSD 03-008       Awarded: 6/6/2003
Title:Multi Axis Hall Thruster
Abstract:Fleets of microspacecraft and large spacecraft with xenon based propulsion are becoming increasingly more common. Such spacecraft require high delta V primary propulsion and high performance attitude control pointing toward high specific impulse electric propulsion. Of these, pulsed plasma thrusters (PPT), resisto-jets and mini electric thrusters have poor performance. We are therefore proposing an alternative propulsion system, the variable impulse multi-axis Hall thruster. We propose to examine and experimentally demonstrate a multi-axis Hall thruster where each discharge cavity is oriented orthogonally to each other forming a cubed cluster. The multi-axis thruster will be based on Busek's 200 W thruster designated BHT-200. The clustered thruster will employ shared magnetics and a single cathode. In Phase I Busek will model, design and construct the three axis Hall thruster. Following fabrication we will test the concept in our existing Hall thruster test facilities. The performance of each thruster will be characterized and compared with the baseline BHT-200. Also in Phase I, an overall system design for ACS propulsion on a Xe fueled spacecraft and a multi-mode propulsion system on a microsatellite will be performed. Based on the test results we will design an advanced version with an optimized (low mass) magnetic structure to be constructed and tested in Phase II. The novel concept of a variable impulse, multi-axis Hall thruster will open a new paradign for high performance electric propulsion. Such a concept has the potential to fulfill all micropropulsion propulsion needs including primary (without gimbals), station keeping and ACS functions all with the same device. Additionally, the concept is ideal for ACS on large satellites that already have xenon on board for orbit transfer and/or stationkeeping. The resulting fuel and power processing commonality greatly simplifies the overall propulsion system architecture.

COMPOSITE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT, INC.
2600 Campus Drive, Suite D
Lafayette, CO 80026
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(303) 664-0394
Dr. Mark S. Lake
OSD 03-008       Awarded: 6/5/2003
Title:Large Moment Arm Propulsive Attitude Control System
Abstract:Composite Technology Development, Inc. proposes to develop and demonstrate a unique and innovative large moment arm propulsive Attitude Control System (ACS) for small satellites, incorporating an Elastic Memory Composite deployable boom with a micro-propulsion thruster at its tip. The proposed Phase I effort will develop this innovative ACS system concept and demonstrate the feasibility of a key element of the deployable boom through design, fabrication and testing. Small satellites can realize significant mass savings through the use of a propulsion-based attitude control system in place of traditional torque rods and reaction wheels. The proposed approach, with small thrusters located at the end of a long moment arm, can reduce the ACS mass requirement by up to 90 percent for a 150-kg class satellite. The proposed technology will be applicable to a large number of small satellite missions of interest to DoD, academia, and industry.

ECOTECH
3239 MONIER CIRCLE, #4
RANCHO CORDOVA, CA 95742
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(916) 631-6310
Mr. Charles Grix
OSD 03-008       Awarded: 8/7/2003
Title:Micropropulsion Thruster for Low Power Satellites
Abstract:An enhanced electrically controlled extinguishable solid propellant (ECESP) developed under this SBIR program will be tested in a core burning motor configuration, thus making possible higher thrust levels than achievable in previously tested end burning motor designs. Specifically the enhancement entails the use of additives that confer increased electrical conductivity to the propellant surface following combustion and extinguishments of the propellant. A conductive coating is applied only to the bore surface of the propellant to enable initial ignition at this surface. This property allows for the design of a motor grain with fixed copper electrodes and no moving parts. This will make it possible to carry out both station keeping and orbital placement of a satellite utilizing a single thruster system. Thus, a satellite employing this technology could change orbital configuration and placement multiple times during its operational lifetime. The proposed motor design and propellant system is expected to provide greater flexibiity and reduced cost over current satellite propulsion systems. A single thruster can be used for both manuevering and station keeping of satellites. This is expected to be used in both military and commercial satellites,that can be used in missions for surveilance, communication and to inspect and repair satellites already in orbit.

PHOTONIC ASSOC.
200A Ojo de la Vaca Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(505) 466-3877
Dr. Claude Phipps
OSD 03-008       Awarded: 5/23/2003
Title:Feasibility of a nanosecond-pulse, high specific impulse microthruster
Abstract:There exists a critical need for innovative low power electric propulsion thrusters for stationkeeping and orbit maneuvering of small satellites. Highly desirable features are thrust-to-weight ratio, high specific impulse operation, environmental compatibility and lifetime We believe these requirements can be met by a nanosecond-pulse version of the millisecond-pulse mLPT which we earlier invented and developed. The nsmLPT will be driven by a new type of diode-pumped, repetitively-pulsed laser that we will design in this effort. The new microthruster will have dramatically different parameters in order to achieve performance improvements appropriate to DoD requirements. These will be: a) 6 orders of magnitude shorter laser pulse, b) being able to address metallic and other very low outgassing propellants, not just organics, c) being able to address them in reflective rather than transmissive incidence to avoid the complexity of transmissive target tape designs, d) being able to achieve very high specific impulse Isp with good thrust to power ratio Cm, and e) being able to "dial in" the combination of Isp and Cm desired over a significant range while f) retaining the good thrust to weight ratio of the current thruster design. The Phase I effort we propose here will assess the feasibility of the laser and microthruster designs for the nsmLPT. We believe this work will provide a clear design path to a novel, laser-driven, high specific impulse microthruster, to be built in Phase II.

CONCEPTS ETI, INC.
217 Billings Farm Road
White River Jct, VT 05001
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(802) 296-2321
Mr. Conan P. Cook
OSD 03-009       Awarded: 9/3/2003
Title:Advanced Cooling Techniques for Hydrocarbon Liquid Rocket Engine Components
Abstract:Developing new techniques for combustion chamber cooling are critical to increasing engine life to 60 missions or greater. Concepts NREC will explore several chamber cooling options that minimize or eliminate coking increasing engine chamber life without sacrificing performance or adding cost. The proposed Phase I study will investigate methane as the hydrocarbon propellant for cooling along with a second option of cooling the chamber with liquid oxygen. The Phase I study will involve three engine class sizes: upper stage engines in the 15K to 35K thrust class, "small" booster class engines in the 100K to 250K thrust class, and lastly the "large" booster class in the 500K to 1M lb thrust class. The Phase I goal is to select thrust chamber designs for each thrust class using cost, performance, and engine life as discriminators. The thrust chamber cooling studies will be performed to determine if there is enough heat pickup within the cooling channels to reach supercritical conditions, providing the benefits of using a coaxial injector. High coolant channel aspect ratios will be investigated as well in support of current Air Force research programs. Improvements in engine life would aid in lowering the cost of reusable launch vehicles and enhance the attractiveness of LOX/Hydrocarbon booster or upper stages. Using moderate cryogenic fuels such as methane can have benefits to overall operational costs of launch vehicles. The proposed thrust chamber and injector assembly designs are based on very low cost thrust chamber development work performed by several Concepts NREC team members while at Rocket Development Company. The proposed coaxial injector offers reduced combustion stability concerns as well, reducing the risk and increasing the reliability of the thrust chamber assembly. All these factors aid in providing a lower cost, higher reliability, longer life thrust chamber which supports lowering launch costs for reusable and expendable launch vehicles.

METACOMP TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
28632 Roadside Drive, #255
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 735-4882
Dr. Sampath Palaniswamy
OSD 03-009       Awarded: 7/24/2003
Title:Advanced Cooling Techniques for Hydrocarbon Liquid Rocket Engine Components
Abstract:A useful computational simulation tool will be developed to help systematically study one or more advanced cooling techniques or concepts related to the use of hydrocarbon fuels in rocket engines. A coking model will be added to a general purpose computational fluid dynamics solver. The coking model will be able to estimate wall deposition rates and its effect on the flow quality and stability. The simulation tool developed will be able to help analyse and test advanced cooling techniques for hydrocarbon liquid rocket engines. The benefits can carry over to aircraft engines, where coking also plagues fuel nozzles when proper shutdown procedures are not followed. Analogous phenomena arise in blood flow where blood chemistry leads to plaque formation and deposition on walls of blood vessels thereby constraining blood flow. A biomedical equivalent of the capability developed can potentially be invaluable to medical research.

SCHAFER CORP.
321 Billerica Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 880-0779
Mr. Raymond Walsh
OSD 03-009       Awarded: 6/17/2003
Title:High Pressure Oxygen REGEN and Film Cooling for LOX/Hydrocarbon Reusable Engine
Abstract:To meet IHPRPT goals for LOX/HC booster engines, improvements must be made in performance, thrust/weight, life, reliability, and cost. To date, operational LOX/hydrocarbon engines have used the fuel as the thrust chamber assembly (TCA) regenerative coolant, and have used fuel film cooling (FFC) as the TCA hot gas wall protective layer. The present hydrocarbon fuels show increasing coking behavior at high chamber pressures (Pc) and heat loads, thus limiting their utility for long-life reliable systems. In addition, some of the most attractive Advanced Hydrocarbon (AHC) fuels may not be suitable for TCA cooling due to limited thermal capacity or monopropellant tendencies. Schafer proposes an alternate path to the fuel cooling roadblock by incorporating LOX TCA regen cooling and ideally oxidizer film cooling (OFC) to reduce chamber hot gas side heat loads. Both FFC and OFC can be used to reduce wall thermal heat loads to acceptable values and, thus, will both be considered. However, OFC coupled with LOX cooling provides greater robustness and safety, and completely de-couples the wall zone cooling behavior from the fuel characteristics. The proposed program will support the full-scale development of a high Pc LOX/HC engine adaptable to AHCs and satisfying Phase II IHPRPT goals. The development of this technology will enable the full-scale development of a high Pc LOX/HC engine adaptable to AHCs and satisfying Phase II IHPRPT performance goals and NASA requirements. The technology is applicable to Air Force Hydrocarbon Boost program goals and can be adopted to commercial or government RLV and expendable launch vehicles.

SOFTWARE & ENGINEERING ASSOC., INC.
1802 N. Carson Street, Suite 200
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(775) 882-1966
Mr. Stuart S. Dunn
OSD 03-009       Awarded: 6/4/2003
Title:Advanced Cooling Techniques for Hydrocarbon Liquid Rocket Engine Components
Abstract:Design of a high performance hydrocarbon liquid rocket engine (LRE) requires a thorough understanding of the heat transfer and cooling requirements of LRE's. An efficient cooling system is crucial in extending engine life and minimizing pumping power. It is essential to be able to accurately calculate the thermal response to ensure that materials maintain structural integrity and the cooling channels do not develop coking. Development of a computer tool for analysis and design of innovative cooling systems for hydrocarbon LRE's is proposed. The innovation proposed here is to use proven rocket engine codes to develop a fast and accurate engineering tool which will allow the analysts to evaluate the effect of design modifications on overall system requirements. The unique feature of this model is conjugating all thermal and fluid processes in the LRE in order to achieve matched results. This computer model will aid in the design and analysis of cooling channels, thereby reducing the number of costly prototypes. This model will also allow the designer to analyze new cooling channel concepts, such as differential channel configurations, transpiration cooling, and heat transfer enhancements. The proposed computer tool will allow the user to quickly and accurately calculate the thermal response of a high performance hydrocarbon liquid rocket engine. This will enable the designer to ensure structural integrity while minimizing pumping power requirements. This model will also allow the designer to explore new cooling concepts without the expense of costly prototypes. SEA is currently the sole owner of the TDK'02 computer code. This code is accepted as the JANNAF standard for calculating LRE performance. The proposed computer model will be made available to all TDK customers as a plug in module. Since this code is used throughout the industry, the end product will be used by most of the LRE manufacturers, designers, and analysists.

ULTRAMET
12173 Montague Street
Pacoima, CA 91331
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 899-0236
Mr. Brian E. Williams
OSD 03-009       Awarded: 7/22/2003
Title:Reusable Transpiration-Cooled Hydrocarbon Propellant Rocket Engine
Abstract:Large liquid rocket engine combustion chambers suffer from two key constraints: they incorporate relatively low temperature capability alloys to minimize cost, and require active cooling to prevent excessively high temperatures from weakening the chamber materials such that they can no longer sustain operating loads. Additionally, operation of engines with hydrocarbon propellants has the added problem of coolant channel coking. Although the high propellant density and high thrust-to weight ratio associated with hydrocarbon propellants make them very attractive for boost engines, reusable designs must be developed for long-term economic viability. Actively cooled chambers are fabricated either as tube-wall structures or by machining grooves into the walls. Both methods adversely impact cost, complexity, part count, reliability, and performance. In currently ongoing work, Ultramet and Boeing/Rocketdyne have demonstrated the performance and manufacturing feasibility of an innovative, transpiration-cooled oxygen/hydrogen (O2/H2) engine based on the use of Ultramet's highly porous and structural open-cell foam materials. Although pressure, flow rate, and coolant wall permeability requirements are quite different for hydrocarbon-fueled engines compared to O2/H2 engines, the potential exists to develop an innovative material and design approach for practical use of high-efficiency hydrocarbon propellants in a transpiration-cooled design without coking. In this project, Ultramet proposes to team with Boeing/Rocketdyne to demonstrate the feasibility of a transpiration-cooled hydrocarbon-fueled engine based on the use of advanced structural foam materials. This project will advantageously leverage previous hydrocarbon engine design work performed at Rocketdyne using more conventional materials and previous engine materials development performed at Ultramet for O2/H2 engines. The use of open-cell foam materials to cool rocket engine combustion chambers by transpiration would substantially reduce part count, cost, and mass and increase performance over current regeneratively cooled engines. This design would be further exploited through use with high-efficiency hydrocarbon propellants. The same technology will also find substantial application in commercial launch systems as well as advanced heat exchangers, which will benefit from the high heat transfer characteristics and high specific strength of open-cell foams.

WASK ENGINEERING
3479 Fairway Drive
Cameron Park, CA 95682
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(530) 672-1479
Mr. Wendel Burkhardt
OSD 03-009       Awarded: 6/4/2003
Title:Full Scale Oxygen Rich Combustion Thrust Cell for Ejector Ramjets
Abstract:New air-breathing propulsion systems are being considered for space launch applications. A Rocket Based Combined Cycle engine with near term potential is the hydrocarbon fueled, subsonic combustion, Ejector-Ramjet (ERJ) using liquid oxygen and liquid methane propellants. In this engine, one of the highest risk components is the ejector system. This program will develop a thrust cell for the ejector of this type of engine that will operate at 2,000 psia chamber pressure and at a mixture ratio of 9:1. The overall technical objectives of this program are to demonstrate the ability a thrust cell to achieve more than 100 cycles of life when operating at full thrust and with oxygen rich combustion gases. The program will also demonstrate the ability of the special exhaust mixing design to provide short mixing lengths by testing two thrust cells side by side. The successful demonstration of these objectives will demonstrate the feasibility and durability of the thrust cells. It will also form the basis of subsequent programs testing a complete ejector ring of thrust cells to verify the performance of a complete ejector ramjet engine. Successful completion of the program will form the basis of for development of a full scale ejector ramjet engine using hydrocarbon fuels. The successful completion of the program will also demonstrate the capability to operate high pressure rocket combustion chambers at oxygen rich mixture ratios, providing the technology base to operate a rocket engine in multiple modes: oxygen rich at launch to maximize thrust and density specific impulse and fuel rich later in the rocket's trajectory to maximize specific impulse for maximum payload.

WASK ENGINEERING
3479 Fairway Drive
Cameron Park, CA 95682
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(530) 672-1479
Mr. Wendel Burkhardt
OSD 03-009       Awarded: 6/3/2003
Title:Oxygen Cooling of High Pressure Hydrocarbon Rocket Engines
Abstract:In hydrocarbon rocket engines, regen cooling with the fuel results in additional problems. Many hydrocarbon fuels have are susceptible to coking in the coolant channels when the coolant or regen wall temperature exceeds a threshold value. The coke buildup then reduces the regen chamber heat transfer efficiency resulting in reduced life or premature failure of the chamber. Another issue is the presence of trace materials in the fuels that attack and corrode the copper in the combustor liner. These problems occur not only for regen combustion chambers, but also for any type of cooling approach that exposes the hydrocarbon fuel to relatively high temperature materials. These concerns can be eliminated by using the oxidizer to cool the thrust chamber. This program will investigate the system impacts associated with LOX cooling the thrust chamber of a rocket engine. Trade studies will be performed that will define the system impacts of the LOX chamber cooling concepts. The LOX cooled approaches will be compared to a baseline fuel cooled rocket engine. From these trade studies, a chamber cooling concept will be developed based on LOX regen cooling, oxygen transpiration cooling, or a combination of the two. LOX cooling will enable the operation of highly reusable hydrocarbon fueled rocket engines. LOX cooling will eliminate the build up of coke or corrosive attack on regen cooling channels, allowing them to achieve their full design life. This technology has application for all high pressure rocket engines that use liquid oxygen as a propellant.

HYPER-THERM HIGH-TEMPERATURE COMPOSITES, INC.
18411 Gothard Street, Unit B
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(714) 375-4085
Mr. Wayne S. Steffier
OSD 03-010       Selected for Award
Title:High-Performance Reticulated SiC Foam Injector for Liquid Rocket Engines
Abstract:Hydrocarbon-based fuels are being considered for reusable rocket engines because of high propellant density and high thrust-to-weight. Current developments are focusing on staged combustion cycles utilizing oxygen-rich preburners with liquid-liquid injection. A need exists for advanced injectors with high mixing efficiencies, improved combustion stability and reusability. Recent developments in porous reticulated ceramic foams offer promise to increase injector performance via improved mixing efficiencies and combustion stability; increase robustness and reliability via reduced vulnerability to particulate fouling and coking contamination of injector orifices; and decrease cost via eliminating the need for precision laser machining numerous small diameter orifice holes, thus greatly simplifying fabrication. The objective of this Phase I program is to demonstrate the feasibility of producing a reticulated SiC foam bipropellant injector assembly with improved performance and simplified fabrication over traditional designs that may suitable for booster-scale, hydrocarbon-based rocket engine application. Reticulated SiC foam specimens of various porosities and densities will be produced and experimentally evaluated to determine their respective liquid and gaseous pressure drop characteristics, discharge coefficients and potential for use in an advanced propellant injector design. A prototype single-element SiC foam bipropellant injector assembly will be designed, fabricated and delivered to OSD for hot-fire ground test evaluation. Reticulated ceramic and refractory metal foams are an enabling class of materials which are suitable for a variety of extreme environment applications including chemical rocket propulsion injectors, hot gas and molten metal filters, catalyst supports and radiant burners. Ceramic foams are currently being used as a low-density core in high-rigidity ceramic composite sandwich structures and ultra-lightweight laser mirrors and optics.

METACOMP TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
28632 Roadside Drive, #255
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 735-4882
Dr. Sampath Palaniswamy
OSD 03-010       Awarded: 5/28/2003
Title:Advanced Injector Designs for Hydrocarbon Liquid Rocket Engine Components
Abstract:Future hydrocarbon-based rocket engines are expected to involve very high pressure heated fuel and oxygen mixtures. A clear design goal is the optimization of fuel injection in order to maximize mixing in smaller and lighter engines. High pressure injection may also mean operating with a flow of supercritical fuel, whose behavior cannot be adequately predicted by simulations based on conventional gas-law equations of state. It is proposed to extend existing multi-phase modeling and numerical simulation capabilities to allow for arbitrary (user-defined) equations of state, in order to accurately model the injection, mixing and combustion of supercritical hydrocarbon fuels. The novel approach proposed will be sufficiently general to allow predictions of supercritical and subcritical regions within the same simulation, providing a seamless transition between the two. The overall capability developed will be a major step forward in the development of simulation capability related to advanced rocket main and pre-burner injectors for hydrocarbon rocket engine propellants. Consequently, it has significant benefits to both military and commercial rocket engine development. Parts of the capability can also be applied to injectors in other application areas including internal combustion engine which has benefits to automotive, marine and aerospace fields. Other applications even include all spray and misting equipment.

ROTORDYNAMICS-SEAL RESEARCH
3302 Swetzer Road
Loomis, CA 95650
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(760) 387-2637
Dr. Al Ferrenberg
OSD 03-010       Awarded: 6/12/2003
Title:Advanced Injector Designs for Hydrocarbon Liquid Rocket Engine Components
Abstract:Injector technology is proposed that will improve the performance of advanced hydrocarbon liquid rocket engines. Several injectors for both preburner and MCC applications will be developed and tested. Improved hydrocarbon liquid rocket engine performance and life

SCHAFER CORP.
321 Billerica Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 880-0779
Mr. Tedi Ohanian
OSD 03-010       Awarded: 7/24/2003
Title:Advanced Designs for Main and Oxidizer Rich Pre-Burner Injectors Utilizing Mixing Biasing for Reusable LOX/Hydrocarbon Engines
Abstract:To meet IHPRPT goals for LOX/HC booster engines, improvements must be made in performance, thrust/weight, life, reliability, and cost. To date, operational LOX/hydrocarbon engines have used the fuel as the thrust chamber assembly (TCA) regenerative coolant, and have used fuel film cooling (FFC) as the TCA hot gas wall protective layer. The present hydrocarbon fuels show increasing coking behavior at high chamber pressures (Pc) and heat loads, thus limiting their utility for long-life reliable systems. The Russians have successfully implemented fuel dump cooling, but with significant performance loss. In addition, some of the most attractive Advanced Hydrocarbon (AHC) fuels may not be suitable for TCA cooling due to limited thermal capacity or monopropellant tendencies. Schafer proposes an analytical and experimental single and multi-element injector program to investigate the potential for FFC and oxidizer film cooling (OFC) with implementation of Mixing Biasing in the outer ring in order to improve performance and reduce heat flux. The net result will be the development of design database summarizing ERE and chamber heat flux for each configuration investigated. The proposed program will support the full-scale development of a high Pc LOX/HC engine adaptable to AHCs and satisfying Phase II IHPRPT goals. The development of this technology will enable the full-scale development of a high Pc LOX/HC engine adaptable to AHCs and satisfying Phase II IHPRPT performance goals and NASA requirements. The technology is applicable to Air Force Hydrocarbon Boost program goals and can be adapted to commercial or government RLV and expendable launch vehicles.

SIERRA ENGINEERING, INC.
603 East Robinson Street, Suite 7
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(916) 363-6161
Dr. Jeffrey A. Muss
OSD 03-010       Awarded: 6/12/2003
Title:Advanced Injector Designs for Hydrocarbon Liquid Rocket Engine Components
Abstract:Combustion instability is one of the greatest development risks for liquid propellant engines. The risks arise in development of a stable injector design from a variety of sources - limited modelling capabilities, poor scalability and the high cost of appropriate component test facilities. Sierra Engineering believes that much of the empirical data on the injection element's driving characteristics can be obtained using a single full-sized injection element in a combustion chamber of the same diameter as the full-scale chamber. Our proposed two-phase approach demonstrates the validity of the concept. Phase I covers the modification of standard analysis tools for application to this approach and application of the tools to develop an appropriate single element chamber conceptual design. Phase II is the validation task, covering the critical design, fabrication and testing of a single-element engine. We propose that the well-characterized 0100 injection elements be used during the initial concept validation. Subsequent testing would include large gas-liquid elements appropriate for ox-rich staged combustion engines currently of interest to both the Air Force and NASA. The goal of this SBIR is the design and demonstration of a reduced thrust test article capable of duplicating the full-scale engine combustion stability characteristics. Combustion instability and steady state performance modelling will be key to the success of both of these programs, and other National Aerospace Initiative booster engine programs. Improved predictive tools and reduced scale test methodologies capable of affording early combustion stability characterization are essential for risk mitigation. The successful completion of the proposed work will provide the government and the industry with both tools and methodologies.

ULTRAMET
12173 Montague Street
Pacoima, CA 91331
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 899-0236
Mr. Brian E. Williams
OSD 03-010       Awarded: 6/17/2003
Title:Process Scaleup of Refractory Open-Cell Structural Foams for Advanced Rocket Engine Injectors
Abstract:The Air Force is seeking a highly operable aerospace vehicle that can be ready to launch on demand. Hydrocarbon-fueled vehicles offer certain benefits over other propulsion systems. The vehicle is heavier when fueled with kerosene, but because of the nature of the propellant, it is lighter when empty: a benefit in reduced vehicle weight and cost. Also, kerosene costs less to produce and use. Advanced propellant injector materials and designs are required to promote stable combustion with high mixing efficiency. Ultramet has been working with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Propulsion Directorate at Edwards AFB to establish the mechanical and fluid flow properties of open-cell silicon carbide foam material produced by Ultramet for potential use in injector applications, among others. The flow characteristics show promise for use with hydrocarbon propellants, but the structures fabricated thus far have been limited to relatively small sizes (4" diameter x 1.0-1.5" thick). In this project, Ultramet will demonstrate the feasibility of process scaleup to practical injector components by producing a silicon carbide foam structure having an order of magnitude greater volume (12" diameter). The proposed materials and processes development and manufacturing demonstration will complement ongoing design and property database development being conducted at AFRL. Further component scaleup studies, including alternate ceramic and metallic foam materials, and testing in a hydrocarbon engine would be performed in Phase II. The potential exists to take advantage of the inherent and tailorable porous, open-cell structure contained within refractory ceramic and metallic structural foams for propellant injection in hydrocarbon boost engines. Manufacturability of these structures is high relative to complex, conventionally machined injectors which are available in very limited materials. This same technology will also find substantial application in commercial launch systems as well as advanced heat exchangers, which will benefit from the high heat transfer characteristics and high specific strength of open-cell foams.

DWA ALUMINUM COMPOSITES
21130 Superior St.
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(818) 998-1504
Mr. Timothy Loftin
OSD 03-011       Awarded: 7/23/2003
Title:Cost-Effective Manufacturing for L12 Strengthened Aluminum Alloys
Abstract:The use of aluminum in rocket engine turbo-machinery has not been realized due to strength limitations at elevated temperature. This Phase I SBIR proposal addresses innovative, cost-effective manufacturing techniques for L12 strengthened aluminum alloys that will exhibit high temperature strength (60 ksi at 400°F) and structural stability beyond the capabilities of conventional wrought alloys. The proposed program will investigate the influence of incoherent nano-scale nitride particles, incorporated by the cryogenic milling of L12 strengthened aluminum alloy powder in liquid nitrogen, on high temperature strength retention. Traditional manufacturing process steps involved in the production of cryogenically milled aluminum will be simplified for the purpose of reducing the cost of small lot sizes: (a) reduced cryogenic milling times, (b) powder handling in "shop air" to provide a comparison with glove box processing, (c) degassing of powder at higher temperatures to shorten cycle-time, and (d) vacuum hot pressing of canned powder for complete consolidation through shear deformation as opposed to HIP processing where deformation takes place by a diffusional creep mechanism. A more affordable niche material, such as the one proposed herein, will have a significant impact on rocket engine design simplification, development lead-time, weight reduction, and cost-of-production. A thermally stable aluminum alloy capable of service temperatures above 300° F. High temperature strength retention in an aluminum alloy up to 400° F. Cost-effective manufacturing of small lot sizes for rocket engine niche applications. Potential comercial applications include, but are not limited to gas turbine engines, airframe structure, high speed machinery, and robotic structures.

H&R TECHNOLOGY, INC.
95 Rock Street, 3d Floor
Lowell, MA 01854
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(978) 453-6400
Mr. Joshua Rabinovich
OSD 03-011       Awarded: 5/28/2003
Title:Advanced Manufacturing Techniques for Liquid Rocket Engine Components
Abstract:Rocket propulsion system capabilities are consistently required to improve payload capability and reduce manufacturing cost. One technical challenge the system capability is the reduction of manufacturing cost for low production rate liquid rocket engine components. Reduced hot wall thickness for enhanced cooling is often precluded due to specifications for milling or chemical etching processes. A low heat laser metal deposition process that will accommodate microstructure compatibility and cost reduction would be of significant value to a myriad of military and commercial engineering applications. Recently developed low heat input precision metal deposition (PMDtm) integrates fusion and post-deposition machining into a single manufacturing process and machine. An opportunity is presented to incorporate the fundamentals of PMDtm with advanced requirements for specifically designed heat transfer components of liquid rocket engines. Specifically, the proposed Phase I will incorporate fabrication of integrated net-shape coolant channel ribs deposited on thin substrates and production of test structures for metallurgical, tensile and high cycle fatigue tests. Phase II will demonstrate prototype components for liquid rocket engine components. Phase III commercialization of the fabrication process for coolant channel rib structures deposited on thin substrates for applications in numerous systems utilizing cooling components is anticipated with a high probability. The nation will benefit from a United States manufacturing base for an advanced process and a system capable of low heat and low distortion net shape manufacturing. Such a system will enhance capabilities for manufacturing of advanced cooling systems of both commercial and military applications.

ORMOND, LLC
1505 Central Avenue, South
Kent, WA 98032
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(253) 854-0796
Mr. Daniel G. Alberts
OSD 03-011       Awarded: 5/28/2003
Title:Low Cost Flexible Method of Manufacturing Channel Wall Combustors
Abstract:This program will result in the development of a drastically reduced cost, reduced lead time and increased capability channel wall rocket combustor manufacturing technology. Demonstrated will be the feasibility of a technology that will provide tremendous cost and lead-time reductions from the current tubular wall construction designs, as well as from channel wall designs manufactured by other methods. This will be immediately available to support test/demonstration phases of current liquid rocket programs. It will support improved engine designs by increasing design options that are available to advance the liquid rocket engine technology in general. Phase II will make it feasible for technology commercialization to support production phases of SLI, RLV and other programs. While this experimental technology has been demonstrated to be capable of generating complex combustor channel geometries, its advancement is limited by control and repeatability problems. These issues are addressed in this program. Key technical data that will be made available to support engine developers includes economic and technical performance. The economic and lead-time data that will be needed to support future engine program cost projections will be a key outcome. This novel dual-use abrasive-jet machining technology has attracted commercial investment and from both commercial and defense markets. It is anticipated that the completion of the proposed Phase I program will result in the availability of a drastically reduced cost, reduced lead time and increased capability channel wall rocket combustor manufacturing technology to support development/test/demonstration phases of current liquid rocket programs. A Phase II program will result in a technology that is suitable for large or small scale production orders. Commercialization success is a high probability due to current support from the Pratt & Whitney Propulsion Groups and others in industry. While this experimental technology has been demonstrated to be capable of machining combustor channel geometries in vacuum plasma sprayed GRCop-84, its advancement to the shop floor is currently limited by issues related to process control and repeatability. The proposed program is aimed at overcoming these limitations. This is a dual use technology that will be commercialized in commercial and defense industries to support many applications that depend on the availability of an economic method of generating channels in difficult to machine materials. The completion of this Phase I program will benefit several market areas where Ormond is utilizing variations to the proposed technology. Examples of commercial applications include ground based power generating turbines, PEM fuel cells and others. The Air Force and NASA programs that directly benefit from this technology due to SCRAMJET manufacturing include HySET (Hypersonic Engine Technology), Robust SCRAMJET, Single Engine Demonstration (SED), Integrated System Test of an Air-breathing Rocket (ISTAR), SCRAMJET Missile, and X-43C Programs. It will also be of benefit to advanced turbine propulsion programs where Ormond is utilizing variations of the technology to machine micro-cooling channels (ATEGG, JTAGG, IHPTET).

POLYMER TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
35 Monhegan Street
Clifton, NJ 07013
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(973) 778-9100
Dr. Santosh Das
OSD 03-011       Awarded: 5/28/2003
Title:Advanced Manufacturing Techniques for Liquid Rocket Engine Components
Abstract:Polymer Technologies Inc. (PTI) proposes an innovative program to develop and demonstrate low cost, powder metal injection molding (MIM) and sintering technologies to manufacture superalloy and metal matrix composite components for liquid rocket engine applications where net shape processing confers a cost advantage for small lot sizes and low production rates. The technology is based on aqueous based agar binder system, originally developed by Honeywell and now licensed by Polymer Technologies, that is now offered commercially in stainless steel and nickel based superalloy IN718. The aqueous binder system is proposed for this work because it represents quantum advancement compared with conventional wax/polymeric binder systems since binder removal issues, which are barriers to widespread adoption of the Metal Injection Molding technology, are eliminated in this system. The aqueous binder system allows use of low cost stereolithography (SLA) epoxy tooling for production of small quantities of parts. Furthermore, the green molded parts can be readily recycled if desired by simply adding water . This is a distinct advantage for complex components made using expensive superalloy powders. The proposed program will perform modifications to the binder system as necessary for injection molding of high strength superalloy (e.g. Haynes 214) compatible with hydrogen and oxygen environment and demonstrate an injection molded prototype component using low cost SLA molds. 3-D Mold Flow analysis will be performed to design the mold. The prototype components will be characterized for mechanical properties. An estimate of the cost reduction and repeatability of the process will be made. The metal injection molding technology for superalloys developed in this program will be commercialized by Polymer Technologies Inc. (PTI). PTI will manufacture the superalloy components for liquid rocket engine developed in the program. PTI will work with US powder manufacturers in securing the supply of superalloy powders as defined in the program, for injection molding. The evaluation and application of the components will be done in close collaboration with Aerojet Corporation. The ultimate beneficiary will be US Air Force.

SYNERTECH P/M, INC.
11562 Monarch St
Garden Grove, CA 92841
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(714) 898-9151
Dr. Victor Samarov
OSD 03-011       Awarded: 6/27/2003
Title:Advanced Manufacturing Techniques for Liquid Rocket Engine Components
Abstract:The proposal addresses the development of the efficient technology for critically loaded engine components such as static and rotating parts of turbo-machinery from high strength and environment compatible Ni and Fe-based superalloys. Phase 1 will result in the development of the advanced process model for HIP of complex "net shape" engine components and demonstration of the "anisotropy" module within the entire model. Also a viability of the proposed technology will be proven by developing and manufacturing of a complex shape subscale demo of the critical engine component. The advancement towards "net shape" can be found in a combination of advanced manufacturing techniques and process modeling methodology research and development. The proposed steps to highly desirable "net shape" products are advances to existing process models used to design HIP tooling. The advanced modeling will attempt to fully account for plastic and creep deformation of compressible powder media interacting with solid HIP tooling as well as the evolution of material properties during HIP cycles. The improved model will be based on powder rheology and account for inherent anisotropy caused by the evolution of pores during consolidation. Phase 1 will develop the advanced process model for HIP of complex "net shape" engine components and demonstrate an "anisotropy module" within the model. There will also be a hardware demonstration of the proposed technology with a complex shape subscale segment of a critical engine component (a turbo-pump impeller or housing are candidate parts). Upon the successful completion of Phase 1, a second Phase could use the developed model and process to develop and produce acceptable examples of rotating and static liquid rocket engine components for rocket engine components. Boeing-Rocketdyne, for one has expressed a strong interest in this development. The expected cost and cycle reduction of 30-50%, when compared to investment castings or machining from rough shapes, will be demonstrated during this phase. Potential commercial applications of the R&D can also include net shape aircraft components, HIP-cladded valves for chemical petroleum recovery and refining, and medical implants.

CLEAR SCIENCE CORP.
PO Box 233, 663 Owego Hill Road
Harford, NY 13784
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(607) 844-9171
Dr. Henry A. Carlson
OSD 03-012       Awarded: 6/6/2003
Title:Advanced Modeling and Simulation of Complex, Non-Equilibrium Plasma Flows
Abstract:Clear Science Corp. proposes to develop efficient and scalable software for analyzing complex plasma flows associated with micro-satellite propulsion systems. The computational tool will provide a framework for synthesizing kinetic and continuum models and multiple grid topologies. The goal is a code capable of accurately predicting the flow dynamics of hybrid mixtures of background gases, neutrals, ions, and electrons interacting on disparate time and length scales. Physical models will be interchangeable and based on the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), the Particle-In-Cell (PIC) method, and Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) formulations. Surface interaction models will be integrated into the framework, providing the means of coupling solid-propellant ablation and sputtering with the bulk plasma dynamics. Models will be scalable from one to three dimensions in space and capable of simulating both steady and unsteady flows. During Phase I, we will develop a modular architecture, a data structure, and grid topologies that satisfy the key metrics of accuracy, robustness, efficiency, range of application, and scalability of modeling complexity. We will demonstrate the technical merit and feasibility of the approach using a subset of models that are essential to the analysis of non-equilibrium plasma flows and will formulate a detailed schedule for Phase II development and testing. The commercial product to be developed is experimentally validated software for simulating plasma flows that are characterized by a mixture of charged and neutral constituents and multiple length and time scales. The group of potential users is large, including engineers who design electric propulsion systems for spacecraft, directed energy defense weapons, microwave generators, advanced energy conversion systems, and sensors and switches that operate with plasmas. Moreover, problems relating to chemical vapor deposition, etching, and other material fabrication processes involve non-equilibrium plasma flows over the full Knudsen number range. Plasma tool suppliers and computer chip manufacturers constitute a big group in need of versatile software. They require a computational tool capable of simulating plasma reactor flows from the tool scale down to the feature scale. Spacecraft engineers, laser weapon designers, chip manufacturers, and plasma tool suppliers share a pressing need for the software we propose to develop.

DELTA SEARCH LABS, INC.
400 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(617) 551-4617
Dr. Alla A. Batishcheva
OSD 03-012       Awarded: 6/3/2003
Title:Hybrid Kinetic Method for Laser-Plasma Interaction in the Presence of Strong Spatial Gradients
Abstract:We propose to develop an advanced software tool to study the interaction of intense laser beam with plasma, which is either pre-formed or produced during the interaction process. Such interaction is characterized by large spatial gradients due to plasma expansion from near-solid density to rarefied plasma, self-induced electromagnetic fields with scales varying from skin depth to Debye length and beyond, and extremely non-equilibrated distribution of charged particles. Typicaly used PIC method has several shortcomings: statistical noise, poor compatibility with adaptive grid and collisions handling, inability to capture sharp gradients and energetic tails of particle populations. Time averaging is used to mitigate these problems, but this approach is non-applicable for the strongly non-equilibrated transient processes. Kinetic Vlasov and Fokker-Planck methods utilize grid-based approaches. Unfortunately they suffer from large numerical diffusion, and have enormous requirements on the directly accessible memory to store distribution functions. Several orders of spatial/temporal differences in plasma temperature and density make adaptive capability a natural requirement. This project is to develop a relativistic electromagnetic PIC-Vlasov Hybrid method combined with the Adaptive Mesh method to guarantee automatic resolution of the propagating laser front and the expanding plume. Parallel computer code efficiency will be demonstrated using the Delta Search Labs supercomputer facility. The developed software could be directly applied to many important areas. It could be used to investigate, interpret and optimize operation of various processes, schemes and devices, which use intensive laser-plasma interaction. The applications include laser micro- and macro-propulsion thrusters, inertial fusion devices, X-ray and UV-radiation sources, accelerators of charged particles, medical tomographs and radiology machines, isotope and high-harmonics generators. The proposed software can also be used as part of a larger code, complementing non-kinetic techniques.

JAVATECH LLC
2155 Francis Av.
Santa Clara, CA 95051
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(408) 615-8033
Dr. Periklis E. Papadopoulos
OSD 03-012       Awarded: 8/25/2003
Title:Advanced Modeling & Simulation (M&S) of Complex Non-Equilibrium Plasma Flows for Microsatellite Propulsion
Abstract:It is proposed to develop a software library to support the modeling of plasmas by hybrid methods. The library will be constructed using advanced Object-Oriented (OO) programming methods, and will be available in Java and C++. The software would be tailored to the construction of codes for the numerical modeling of physically complex plasma configurations far from equilibrium. Such discharges require the simultaneous solution of several components, each with a different numerical method. For example, a bulk plasma may be described by a fluid, while high-energy particles must be treated by Particle-In-Cell (PIC) and Monte-Carlo methods. Material properties are also important for current emission, phase change (evaporation/ablation), conductivity, etc. Alternative or complementary approaches may include Vlasov, Fokker-Planck and Boltzmann equation solvers. The optimal approach to the modeling of a specific plasma discharge requires that the code be tailored to that problem. Therefore, there is no general-purpose code that can solve all possible scenarios and configurations, without being extremely large and unmanageable. The approach proposed here consists of providing the building blocks, and let the user choose the appropriate ones and assemble them for the problem at hand. This innovative approach allows maximal flexibility and requires low maintenance. The proposed software can be used for the solution of complex physical problems involving non-equilibrium plasma discharges. These are found in various areas of material manufacturing and treatment, which have a large commercial market. Additional applications are found in aerospace applications, such as electric propulsion, or advanced power generation and weapons.

TECH-X CORP.
5541 Central Ave #135
Boulder, CO 80301
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(720) 563-0336
Dr. Peter Stoltz
OSD 03-012       Awarded: 7/22/2003
Title:A Parallel PIC-DSMC Code for Modeling Complex Plasmas
Abstract:Plasma propulsion systems for satellites, the low-density plasma edge in fusion devices, and plasma reactors for semiconductor manufacture are all in need of a modeling and simulation capability that can effectively address electromagnetics, charged particle dynamics, neutral gas dynamics, and the interaction among these entities. Moreover, such simulation capability should be able to handle fully three-dimensional geometries with complex boundaries. A tool for modeling plasma propulsion systems will be developed. As such, work advancing and using this tool will likely be available for future DOD funding. In addition, this tool will have commercial applications to plasma processing of semiconductors.

CFD RESEARCH CORP.
215 Wynn Dr., 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(256) 726-4800
Dr. Maciej Z. Pindera
OSD 03-013       Awarded: 6/4/2003
Title:Multi-Resolution Tool for Rapid Evaluation of New Propulsion and Vehicle Systems
Abstract:The project objective is to develop an integrated, hierarchical, multi-resolution tool for comprehensive prototyping and evaluation of new propulsion systems together with the launch vehicle systems. The overall vehicle system and its adjuncts will be treated as a collection of interacting software components coupled by a computational environment. Full and reduced scale component modules will allow mixed dimensionality simulations. Multi-resolution feature will allow selective "focus in" on the process of interest for optimal use of computational resources. Reduced-scale component models will be done with innovative use of artificial neural nets (ANNs). Full-scale modeling will be done with advanced multi-disciplinary, parallelized CFD-combustion-flow-thermal and other solvers. Legacy codes will be integrable into the environment with minimal code modification. A graphical "drag-and-drop" approach will be developed for system component specification and connectivity. Phase I work will focus on customizing the computational environment to propulsor prototyping applications. The work will involve: (a) preparation of reduced and full-scale component models; (b) development of selective focusing capabilities; and (c) functionality demonstration on selected propulsion system. Phase II work will generalize the environment to the full vehicle and will develop a comprehensive reduced model libraries based on ANN and other approaches. Development of the GUI will be completed. The developed design tool will be demonstrated and validated on analysis of combustors selected in consultation with DoD. The developed numerical design tools will provide fast, accurate predictions of performance of existing and new generation of advanced air and space vehicles and propulsion systems. It will also allow virtual prototyping and optimization of system performance and efficiency. The numerical environment has substantial commercial potential in aerospace industry where these tools will be directly applicable. The generic multiscale prototyping tools will also be useful in optimization diverse multi-component systems such as those associated with thermal management, biochip design, and manufacturing processes and equipment.

ENGINEOUS SOFTWARE
2000 Centregreen Way, Suite 100
Cary, NC 27513
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(919) 677-6700
Mr. Kevin Harris
OSD 03-013       Awarded: 6/4/2003
Title:System Integration Toolsets for Rapid Evaluation of New Propulsion Systems
Abstract:Many diverse tools are used for the evaluation of propulsion systems from different engineering disciplines. These include legacy codes, off the shelf analysis software such as ANSYS, MathLab a variety of CFD tools, and miscellaneous utilities such as Excel. Engineous Software proposes to investigate integration of diverse propulsion analysis tools into a design system or framework. Such a system will have the capabilities to perform analysis of different aspects of conceptual designs with the goals of: 1. Allowing for automated transfer of data between the diverse codes. 2. Providing a variety of analysis options such as Design of Experiments, Optimization Techniques, multicriteria tradeoffs, and Quality control methods such as Monte Carlo, Robust Design, and Design for Six Sigma. 3. A user interface that provides varying degrees of access to the analysis, depending on the user sophistication. 4. Integration of the Rapid Propulsion design system into other system design tools allowing for interactive publishing of models and updates. Benefits of the Engineous Proposal include. 1. Reduction of time to obtain a feasible design. 2. Exploration of many new designs and configurations in the same or less amount of time. 3. Free up valuable engineering resources from manual data entry, allowing them to use their skills to evaluate design alternatives. Since many type of propulsion systems currently under development at OSD have similar characteristics to ones used in industry, the commercial potential is enormous. Some applications include jet aircraft, power generation, automobiles, and turbine development

JAVATECH LLC
2155 Francis Av.
Santa Clara, CA 95051
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(408) 615-8033
Dr. Periklis E. Papadopoulos
OSD 03-013       Awarded: 6/27/2003
Title:Novel Analysis Tools for Rapid Evaluation of New Propulsion Systems
Abstract:JavaTech LLC, proposes to develop a novel general-purpose software for the interdisciplinary design of the next generation of space transportation systems with regard to automatic optimization of integrated propulsion systems and aerospace vehicle concepts. The proposed software will have the ability to model various propulsion systems by allowing easy replacement of implementation of new physical models, to independently vary the level of fidelity on a per-component basis as well as to fully integrate the propulsion systems with vehicle characteristics by automatic coupling to CFD and other solvers. The software also provides advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools for the evaluation of fluid and aero-dynamics, propulsion system performance, and thermal protection systems. The proposed software architecture is written in the Java language; this allows complete portability of the software and its associated visualization and GUI tools. In Phase I, the system design software will be written in the .NET environment of Microsoft. The architecture would be completely open and flexible, such that the code can be easily maintained and modified to include other modeling capabilities and interface with other software. The Phase I work will consist of demonstrating the potential capability of the software on a specific example, while constructing the basic architecture to be used in subsequent Phase II and commercial applications. Software design tools have a number of potential commercial applications. The primary software will be designed for the needs of the US Government and the private aerospace industry. Furthermore, the high flexibility and complete Object Oriented Design of the software will facilitate its adaptation to other applications, for other industries: for example, the same CFD tools could be applied to non-aerospace problems (combustion flows, turbine design, power generation, cars), or could be generalized for such applications (materials processing).

ROTORDYNAMICS-SEAL RESEARCH
3302 Swetzer Road
Loomis, CA 95650
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(916) 660-0444
Dr. Joseph K Scharrer
OSD 03-013       Awarded: 6/6/2003
Title:Novel Analysis Tools for Rapid Evaluation of New Propulsion Systems
Abstract:An engine and vehicle transient modeling and simulation software package is proposed to facilitate the comparison of various engine systems in various vehicle configurations for an array of mission requirements. Rapid assessment of proposed engine and vehicle configurations for given mission requirements. Improved design and engine process for engine design and development.

CFD RESEARCH CORP.
215 Wynn Dr., 5th Floor
Huntsville, AL 35805
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(256) 726-4800
Dr. Stelu Deaconu
OSD 03-014       Awarded: 6/4/2003
Title:High Quality E-beam Generation by Advanced Multipurpose Pseudospark Switch
Abstract:CFD Research Corp. proposes the development of an Advanced Multipurpose Pseudospark Switch (AMPS) e-beam source capable of efficiently generating high average/peak current, bright electron beams. The improvement in e-beam quality (over a classical pseudospark) stems from the inductive preionization of the hollow cathode chamber, prior to main gap breakdown. The proposed device features similarities to preionization-controlled open-ended hollow cathode transient discharges while retaining the simple geometry of a common pseudospark. Compared to a classic pseudospark e-beam source of the same size and at the same applied voltage, the AMPS will (1) increase mean electron energy over 90%-100%, (2) have a single peak e-beam current characteristic (3) reduce e-beam emittance at least one order of magnitude, (4) decrease e-beam energy spread, and (5) achieve higher power densities due to a reduced thermal load. All other pseudospark characteristics (high current, rapid current, rise, low jitter, etc.) will be preserved. Consequently, the proposed AMPS e-beam generator will become an enabling technology for compact, transportable directed energy weapons, such as Free-Electron Lasers (FEL) and High Power Microwaves (HPM). The proposed AMPS e-beam generator/switch is well suited for a systematic performance and scaling analysis. The AMPS e-beam source can be integrated in a wide range of driver devices for HPMs (e.g. klystrons, magnetrons, reltrons, gas filled plasma tubes, multiwave Cherenkov generators, etc.) and FELs and reduce the size and power requirements of subsequent e-beam conditioning stages (e.g. accelerators, beam shaping devices). Other applications of the AMPS e-beam source include generation of x-rays, industrial e-beam material processing, and film deposition. In a "sealed-off" configuration, the new device will operate as a high power, fast current rise plasma switch. The AMP-switch will be particularly effective in situations involving triggering of lower voltages (few kV), a range where other pseudospark switches experience quenching and instability.

EWING TECHNOLOGY ASSOC., INC.
5416 143rd Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98006
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(425) 746-1216
Dr. J. J. Ewing
OSD 03-014       Awarded: 9/10/2003
Title:Micro-Discharge Micro-Thruster Technology Development
Abstract:This SBIR Phase 1 effort will develop micro-discharges to power a micro-thruster rocket. The micro-discharges and arrays of these devices are made using semiconductor processing methods. Ultimately they will be very inexpensive to manufacture in large numbers. We will explore enhancing the power deposition rate in low molecular weight gases appropriate for high thrust. We will examine the current scaling of a recently observed photo enhancement of micro-discharge current found with silicon cathodes. We will vary the incident flux on the micro-cavity from 1micro-W to 1 mW. We will test key aspects of micro-thruster fabrication. With the help of a conceptual design, we will develop a plan for Phase 2 that considers the analytical models to be used in Phase 2, fabrication issues and specific micro-thruster experimental development. This research leads to a novel class of low unit cost electrically driven micro-thrusters appropriate for space propulsion of micro-satellites or station keeping with larger satellites. Low cost and low mass will lead to less expensive DOD space vehicles. The underlying micro-discharge array platform will be used in commercial applications such as chemical processing and novel sensors.

LEGENTECH, INC.
4540 Bartolo Terrace
Fremont, CA 94536
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(510) 494-9904
Dr. Li Lei
OSD 03-014       Awarded: 7/9/2003
Title:Innovative Applications of Plasma Discharge for Power and Propulsion Technology
Abstract: Explosive electron emission cathodes for microwave applications offer the potential to provide high efficiency electron guns due to larger current densities and direct modulations of emitted beams. This research is motivated by the desire to develop a miniaturized klystron using efficient, reliable and cost-effective cathode arrays and to explore the operation of cold-cathode arrays in vacuum electronic devices. Compact size and lightweight of klystrons, with high peak power, narrow band, low duty-cycle, low pulse repetition frequency, reduced applied voltage, is important for airborne and space applications. Multi-beam klystrons look very promising in those areas, especially in the high frequency regime.

MEMS OPTICAL, INC.
205 Import Circle
Huntsville, AL 35806
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(256) 859-1886
Mr. Justin Brooks
OSD 03-014       Selected for Award
Title:Innovative Applications of Plasma Discharge for Power and Propulsion Technology
Abstract:ABSTRACT Traditional stationkeeping thrusters for satellites are low-efficient, complex, monopropellant or bipropellant chemical thrusters. The complexity and stored propellant of the thrusters result in satellites with higher dry weights, decreased payload capabilities, and thus higher incurred costs. A significant opportunity exists in the area of satellite stationkeeping for innovative propulsion systems with high efficiency, high reliability, long operational lifetime, and low mass. Pseudospark and other hollow cathode discharges can meet many of these objectives, particularly if a means of miniaturizing these plasma discharges can be developed. A reduction in size will allow a significant reduction in operating voltage and offer a significant advantage to space-based applications by reducing the amount of power required to operate the device. Reduction in operation voltage also greatly decreases the mass required for a plasma based propulsion system. Also, miniaturizing the pseudospark device through MEMS technology should allow for high-density production on a single wafer. This is extremely appealing to space-based propulsion applications since a higher density allows redundancy of devices, which may enable thrust-specific optimization of individual propulsion cells since there exists the ability to include thousands of individual pseudospark cells in a single thrust unit. Anticipated Results The Phase I research will provide the initial design for a scaled-down, MEMS pseudospark thruster device. The device will be commercially marketed to satellite manufactures, manufacturers of electron beam metal deposition systems, and other advanced industrial suppliers where high-current, pulsed electron beams would be invaluable. MEMS-based pseudospark devices have several potential applications: fine-steering devices for current satellites, stationkeeping thrusters for microsatellites, electron beam sources for metal sputtering equipment, and other advanced industrial applications have a large number of situations where high-current, pulsed electron beams would be invaluable.

STARFIRE INDUSTRIES, LLC
1010 W. Stoughton #203
Urbana, IL 61801
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(708) 955-6691
Dr. Brian E. Jurczyk
OSD 03-014       Awarded: 6/11/2003
Title:Hollow-Cathode Capillary-Discharge Pseudospark Pulsed Power Units For Integrated
Abstract:The micronization of spacecraft and satellite propulsion systems (size, weight, and power) will require an equivalent reduction in pulsed power unit (PPU) support hardware. There are scaling limitations in current solid-state PPUs in terms of source current and response time. Recent advances in pseudospark technology show promise for miniaturization. Starfire Industries envisions shrinking the PPU onto a semiconductor chip with MEMS-scale components and integrating with a plasma pseudospark switch for high-current fast-rise pulsed power for defense applications and plasma propulsion. This SBIR program will investigate the capabilites of a MEMS-scale PPU and integration with other satellite components "on-a-chip". In Phase I, a hollow-cathode capillary-discharge pseudospark array will be tested for scaling to the MEMS length-scale. Analytical modeling of circuit, transmission line and plasma effects will be perfromed to generate an engineering estimation of PPU capabilities for Phase II, where a series of PPUs will be constructed and evaluated. Small-scale multi-mission PPUs are critical for small satellite constellations in the areas of defense (space-based radar, imaging, self-healing nodal networks, etc.), commercial sector (data and bandwidth, communications, services), and space exploration (probes and synthetic aperture telescope constellations). Starfire Industries believes that integrated pseudospark PPU "On-A-Chip" technology will allow another shrink in satellite size and on-orbit mass, while maintaining equivalent functionality. The direct result of functional nano- and pico-satellite systems will be a factor of 2-to-10 decreases in the cost of satellite systems. This will lead to increased commercial applications and economic viability following the space industry, optimistic projections reaching $1 trillion by 2020.