NASA STTR 2006 Solicitation


RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE:Advanced Extravehicular Activity (AEVA)
PROPOSAL TITLE:Lightweight Rubbery Aerogel Composites for High Performance Protection

NAME: Aspen Aerogels, Inc. NAME:Man Vehicle Lab
ADDRESS:30 Forbes Road ADDRESS:Room 33-307, MIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave.
CITY:Northborough CITY:Cambridge
STATE/ZIP:MA  01532-2501 STATE/ZIP:MA  02139-4301
PHONE: (508) 691-1111 PHONE: (617) 258-8799

Dr. JeKyun   Lee

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Aspen Aerogels Inc. (AAI) and the Man Vehicle Laboratory (MVL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology propose to develop nanostructured, lightweight, rubbery aerogel composites for multifunctional insulation materials which will significantly improve advanced extravehicular activity (EVA) systems and habitats. The proposed rubbery aerogel composite materials will exhibit excellent flexibility, toughness and durability, versatility, and hardness, along with the low density and superior thermal insulation properties associated with the nanopored structure of aerogels. The flexible rubbery behavior of the proposed materials will overcome the weak, brittle, and dusty nature of conventional inorganic and organic aerogels. The proposed high-performance, lightweight, rubbery aerogel composites will provide superior thermal insulation and inherent radiation protection suitable for NASA advanced extravehicular activity (EVA) suits and exploration habitat protection. Insulating aerogel composites are also applicable to NASA's space hardware and vehicles as well as many other aerospace, military, and commercial insulation applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The nanostructured lightweight rubbery aerogel composites will improve thermal and acoustic insulation and radiation shielding performances for exploration systems. Insulation layers in EVA suits, habitats, gloves, footwear, and helmets could also potentially utilize the new insulation materials. The rubbery aerogels are air, water and vacuum capable and thus could be incorporated into new single suit designs for a broad spectrum of astronaut mission. The excellent durability and toughness of the rubbery aerogel might facilitate use in cryogenic insulation applications in difficult vibration and acoustic environments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Other potential applications include use as insulation in commercial and military aircraft, cryogenic tanks, liquefied gas transport, gloves, footwear, systems for warming, storing, and/or transporting food and medicine, sleeping bags and pads, military and recreational tents, etc. The new rubbery aerogels can be recycled for use as impact modifiers and/or filler materials for conventional plastics.

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.

Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Radiation Shielding Materials
Thermal Insulating Materials

Form Printed on 09-09-06 13:11