NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-F3.01-7148 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 035859)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Thermal Control Systems for Human Space Missions
PROPOSAL TITLE:Aeorgel Insulation for Integrated Cryotanks and TPS

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ASPEN AEROGELS, INC.
184 Cedar Hill St.
Marlborough ,MA 01752 - 3017
(508) 481 - 5058

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Wendell   Rhine
wrhine@aerogel.com
184 Cedar Hill St.
Marlborough ,MA  01752 -3017
(508) 481 - 5058
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
NASA seeks new and innovative technologies for materials, processes, and manufacturing that will provide safe, reliable, lightweight, and less expensive launch vehicle and spacecraft components. The proposed project will develop aerogel insulation materials for composite cryotanks and TPS. Introduction of aerogel materials to reusable launch vehicles will result in significant reductions in the weight of cryogenic insulation and high temperature Thermal Protection Systems. Aspen Aerogels? materials typically demonstrate 2-4x improvement in conductivity over traditional insulation materials. When specifically engineered to work with current integrated insulation systems, a marked reduction in thickness and overall weight will be realized. Therefore, with team partner Northrop Grumman Corporation, Aspen Aerogels proposes to develop durable and lightweight aerogel insulation for current spacecraft such as the shuttle and future reusable launch vehicles. During the proposed effort we will investigate fiber reinforced aerogel composites for use as cryogenic and high temperature insulation for reusable launce vehicles. We will also investigate organic modified silica aerogels as an approach for improving their strength at cryogenic temperatures. A low-cost, environmentally benign manufacturing process will be used.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Successful development of the aerogels for cryogenic and high temperature insulation applications will immediately be useful as insulation for current and future reusable launch vehicles. The proposed aerogels will have improved thermal and mechanical properties making the usable for multiple missions. The insulation will have additional applications where a fire resistant insulation is required.

The new thermally stable aerogel materials with its low cost will be applicable and beneficial to NASA?s search for high temperature reusable TPS for RLVs.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Successful development of the aerogels for cryogenic and high temperature applications will immediately be useful for insulation on where cryogenic or high temperature insulation is needed. The insulation will be especially suited for various applications where a fire resistant insulation is beneficial.