NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 A2.01-9382
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Materials and Structures for Future Aircraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: Multifunctional aerogel thermal protection systems for hypersonic vehicles

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
30 Forbes Road
Northborough, MA 01532 - 2501
(508) 691-1111

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Wendell E Rhine
30 Forbes Road, Building B
Northborough, MA 01532 - 2501
(508) 466-3130

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The push to hypersonic flight regimes requires novel materials that are lightweight as well as thermally and structurally efficient for airframes and thermal protection systems to increase safety and decrease system weight. The materials required must maintain their performance throughout the lifetime of the system, without degrading over time or with use. A critical component of the system is the thermal protection system required to maintain internal temperatures compatible with the airframe. Currently available thermal protection system (TPS) designs and materials are not capable of providing the level of protection required by NASA without a significant increase in TPS weight and volume. In addition, current concepts for insulation utilize approaches that add nothing to the structural efficiency of the vehicle, or are made from materials that add unnecessary weight to achieve the required thermal performance. Therefore, NASA needs new TPS concepts for hypersonic vehicles that will provide the highest level of thermal performance and can also be structurally integrated with the airframe rather than just add parasitic weight. For this SBIR effort, Aspen proposes to develop a multifunctional aerogel that could be used in structurally integrated thermal protection systems to improve vehicle safety and decrease system weight.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The multifunctional aerogel-based materials developed during this project will have applications as high temperature insulation and as lightweight structural components for integrated thermal protection systems for hypersonic aircraft and reusable launch vehicles.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The aerogels developed in this project would find applications for military hypersonic vehicles and as the insulation used for high temperature industrial processes. Lightweight structural aerogels would find applications as a component of composite sandwich panels that are both lightweight and insulating. Such panels could find many applications including uses in as fire barriers in buildings. Carbon aerogel also have applications such as catalyst supports and fuel cell electrodes.

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.

Thermal Insulating Materials

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50