Concepts NREC Receives NASA’s SBIR Phase II Award to Design Integrated Brayton Cryocooler for Use in Space Applications


WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT, USA, Mar 15, 2022 – Concepts NREC is pleased to announce that it has received a Phase II SBIR award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to design affordable and robust cryogenic cooling solutions for use in space applications.

In support of the Artemis program, NASA seeks innovative integrated refrigeration cycles for use in liquefaction of hydrogen and oxygen from the lunar surface. Concepts NREC is working towards the demonstration of two high-capacity helium-based reverse-Brayton cryocoolers and plans to leverage these cryocoolers to develop a novel integrated two-stage helium system capable of supporting both oxygen and hydrogen liquefaction needs on the Moon.

Concepts NREC will leverage turboalternator powertrain technology developed by our company during a previous phase of this program to handle larger thrust loads at higher rotational speeds at lunar surface ambient conditions. The expanded capability of the newly developed compressor powertrain will increase the current state-of-the-art in cryogenic cooling by an order of magnitude and is another step by Concepts NREC to support NASA’s goal of establishing a long-term presence on the lunar surface and beyond. Results from this study will also provide valuable input into NASA’s on-going Cryogenic Fluid Management directives.

“Concepts NREC is honored and excited to continue our work with NASA in support of the Artemis missions,” comments Mark Anderson, Chief Technology Officer. “In collaboration with commercial and international partners, our innovative cryocooler solutions will allow NASA to establish the first long-term presence on the Moon and to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. Then, NASA will use what they learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap: sending the first astronauts to Mars.”

“Artemis is the first step in the next era of human space exploration” continues Anderson. “The team at Concepts NREC is proud to play a role in the development of key systems and technologies to allow astronauts and robots to conduct ground-breaking lunar research and to set the stage for space exploration to Mars and beyond for decades to come.”

About Concepts NREC

For 65 years Concepts NREC has been a strategic partner to many of the world’s leading turbomachinery companies. We are the only company in the world offering a complete in-house turbomachinery solution from initial concept through design, manufacturing, and test, as well as integrated CAE and CAM software packages for industry. To learn more visit