NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-F3.02-7942 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 035065)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Spaceport Cryogenic Fluids Handling and Storage Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE:Ormosil Beads for Insulation of Ground Cryogenic Storage Tanks

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)
Roxana   Trifu
rtrifu@aerogel.com
184 Cedar Hill St.
Marlborough ,MA  01752 -3017
(508) 481 - 5058
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Advanced materials are required to insulate cryogenic storage and distribution systems for liquid propellants such as hydrogen and oxygen, used in orbital transfer and interplanetary missions. Development of cost effective, robust cryogenic insulation systems that operate at soft vacuum level constitutes a main target for NASA from the energy and economics point of view.

The lightweight aerogel materials developed by Aspen Aerogels Inc. have already demonstrated excellent insulation performance at both ambient and low pressures. Aspen Aerogels proposes to develop novel organically modified aerogel beads with superior compression resistance that will successfully replace perlite insulation in large ground tanks for storage of liquid propellants. The lightweight ormosil beads with optimized thermal conductivity at cold vacuum pressures will help extend the propellants storage life. Additionally, the stiff beads are not easily crushable and unlike perlite, will not settle in the vacuum jacket. Reducing boil-off losses at moderate vacuum level will minimize total storage cost for cryogenic fluids. It is anticipated that the proposed solution will result in over 80% reduction of the insulation areal density and save 40% in cost over Perlite.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The novel aerogel materials have several potential applications for insulating cryogenic umbilical connections for new commercial launch platforms, storage dewars, and cryogen transfer lines.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Development of resilient aerogel beads can lead to wide-scale usage in practically all refrigeration industries including food processing, storage, and transportation; air conditioning and environmental control; medical and biological applications; and manufacturing processes. Oil and gas pipeline, LNG tanker insulation are huge potential markets for this form of material.