Available Technology

Space vehicle valve system

The present invention is a space vehicle valve system which controls the internal pressure of a space vehicle and the flow rate of purged gases at a given internal pressure and aperture site. A plurality of quasi-unique variable dimension peaked valve structures cover the purge apertures on a space vehicle. Interchangeable sheet guards configured to cover valve apertures on the peaked valve structure contain a pressure-activated surface on the inner surface. Sheet guards move outwardly from the peaked valve structure when in structural contact with a purge gas stream flowing through the apertures on the space vehicle. Changing the properties of the sheet guards changes the response of the sheet guards at a given internal pressure, providing control of the flow rate at a given aperture site.
Patent Abstract: 
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center scientists have designed a vent that can be useful for purging closed compartments, while preventing backflow and foreign object entry. The technology uses a system of configurable devices to provide variable flow control and prevent water, insects, or undesired gases from entering a vented space. The technology is effective even in high winds, while conventional rocket vent systems that use mesh screening, flapper valves, and high flow rate purge gas to protect sensitive equipment are not completely effective in extreme weather conditions. Developed for venting and balancing flow in closed rocket compartments, which is critical for NASA, the military, and commercial rocket manufacturers, the design is useful for any device needing a one-way purge valve, flow balancing between compartments, or a general air vent where rain and gas reverse entry must not occur. The system also concentrates generated acoustic energy in a forward cone and can direct noise away from certain areas such as work platforms.

Adaptable: Accommodates variable flow rates, maintaining a low, settable differential pressure for both high and low purge flow rates


Rockets (space, military, commercial)

Building HVAC systems

Automobile ventilation systems


Jeffrey L. Lindner, Anthony R. Kelley

Patent Number: 
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
Patent Status: 
Patent Issue Date: 
April 11, 2014
Lab Representatives
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