NASA SBIR 2002 Solicitation

FORM B - SBIR PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02-II B3.06-7571 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 024428 )
PHASE-I CONTRACT NUMBER: NAS1-03029
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Radiation Shielding to Protect Humans
PROPOSAL TITLE: Carbon based aerogel composites for radiation shielding

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN: (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Advanced Ceramics Research, Inc.
3292 E. Hemisphere Loop
Tucson , AZ   85706 - 5013
(520 ) 573 - 6300

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER: (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/ZIP, Phone)
Ranji Vaidyanathan
rkv@acrtucson.com
3292 E. Hemisphere Loop
Tucson , AZ   85706 - 5013
(520 ) 573 - 6300

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The prime objective of this proposal is to develop a multi-functional sandwich composite material design to fulfill current needs for non-parasitic, lightweight, high-strength, thermally insulating and effective radiation shielding materials for deep space exploration applications. The phase II program will further improve and characterize the mechanical, physical and radiation protection properties of the sandwich composite structures developed in the phase I program. The phase I program clearly demonstrated the technical feasibility of the ACR manufacturing approach to fabricate thermally insulating and radiation shielding capable sandwich composite structures using dissimilar materials such as aerogels and polyethylene with added radiation and neutron shielding capable elements.
For the phase II effort, ACR will continue to improve the mechanical and radiation shielding properties of the aerogel materials that have been infiltrated into low thermal conductive reticulated carbon foam. ACR will also develop the manufacturability of the sandwich composite structures with aerogel and polyethylene materials. Mechanical testing and optimization will be performed to improve the sandwich construction and the interlaminar properties of the composites. Mechanical and thermal modeling will be conducted. Comprehensive sample irradiation will be conducted to evaluate the radiation effects on the materials and the material effects on the radiation. ACR will also transition the state of the current sandwich composite construction into a technology capable of large-size component manufacture.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Samples of appropriate size will be fabricated for use in NASA Marshall?s deep space test bed. Sandwich composites will be supplied with passive dosimeters to NASA?s balloon-borne Deep Space Test Bed (DSTB) facility. The DSTB operations include an engineering test flight in the U.S. early in 2005 and the first polar flight in December 2005. The payload definition for each of these flights will be completed in 2004 and integration of the experiments for both flights will begin in January of 2005. Other potential applications include habitat structures on the moon and Mars as well as astronaut quarters on the ISS.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA APPLICATION(S) (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
ACR will collaborate with DoD and NASA prime contractors to develop commercial applications for the multi-functional structural radiation shielding materials. Thus, there is a strong relationship between the goals of the proposed phase II program and the NASA mission, in addition to a strong commercial potential.


Form Printed on 10-03-03 11:34