NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Aeroassist Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Flexible Transpiration Cooled Thermal Protection System for Inflatable Atmospheric Capture and Entry Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Andrews Space, Inc.
505 5th Ave South, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98104-3894
(206) 438-0602

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dana   Andrews
505 5th Ave South, Suite 300
Seattle, WA  98104-3894
(206) 438-0630

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Andrews Space, Inc. proposes an innovative transpiration cooled aerobrake TPS design that is thermally protective, structurally flexible, and lightweight. This innovative design will meet launch volume constraints and satisfy terminal aerobraking requirements. The approach will focus on transpiration cooling of a flexible material and employs preceramic polymers and active filler technologies as key features of the TPS design. The major hurdle to inflatable aerobrakes becoming reality is the development of a lightweight and structurally flexible TPS. Alternative designs have focused on complex multilayering to increase the effective emissivity of the material, whereas Andrews Space will focus on reducing the thickness, thus decreasing the overall system mass. By combining well understood materials with an innovative, flexible, transpiration cooled TPS, a realizable inflatable aerobrake system has been developed which shows up to 56% mass savings over traditional, rigid aeroshells and 23% over other leading designs.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Once inflatable aerobrake technologies are well-understood and an integrated system flight-tested, such an aerobrake could become the design of choice for further use on Earth and Mars missions, maintaining the best combination of design margin, usage flexibility, weight, and cost. Single-use aerobrakes can be used for return of ISS cargo modules to the Earth's surface as well as for crew return. They can be used for the deceleration of payloads to Mars and other planetary surfaces. Aerobrakes can also be used for Earth and other planetary orbit capture, with potential multi-use capability in those modes.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Outside of NASA, reliable and capable aerocapture will be needed for commercial cargo return to Earth or for hardware return for refurbishment. As on-orbit business opportunities grow, so will the need for recovery and return capability. An additional need is for return of end-of-life spacecraft and launch vehicle stages from LEO, allowing reuse of stage or spacecraft hardware. Furthermore, active fillers are a recent technology whose applications are continually increasing and would benefit from further knowledge.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Controls-Structures Interaction (CSI)
Thermal Insulating Materials
Thermodynamic Conversion

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04