NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 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) 691-1161

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

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The overall objective of the Phase II project is to develop lightweight reinforced aerogel materials for use as the core structural insulation material in multifunctional thermal protection systems for next generation hypersonic vehicles. During this Phase II SBIR project, we will build on the successful results of the Phase I effort by optimizing the aerogel preparation methods and conducting a complete study of aerogel properties and capabilities. During the Phase II effort, the aerogel thermal conductivities and mechanical properties will be optimized for use as multifunctional TPS materials for hypersonic vehicles including the capability of withstanding very high heating rates. We will prepare these aerogels by methods that can be scaled-up and manufactured economically. Any issues associated with scaling-up production of the rigid aerogel panels will be determined, and a prototype thermal protection system will be fabricated and tested. Successful completion a Phase II program will result in an optimized formulation for the aerogel component of multifunctional TPS, and performance data will be available for further commercialization efforts specific to the aerospace industry. We believe the Phase II Program will advance the state of the art for the development of the next generation thermal protection system materials.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The material developed in the Phase II effort could have a variety of applications in the aerospace industry and within NASA. Aerogels are the most efficient thermal insulation known, and NASA has several applications that would benefit from the low density, high strength and low thermal conductivity of aerogels. Structural/insulative composite aerogels would have applications in hypersonic vehicles, crew exploration vehicles, and reusable launch vehicles. Aerogels could also be applied to NASA spacesuit applications, and insulation for cryogenic fuel tanks, cryogenic fuel transfer lines, and internal insulation applications on re-usable launch vehicles.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The resulting insulation system from this program will also have far reaching benefits for both military and commercial applications. The materials would also be of interest to DoD for their hypersonic global strike vehicles. The potential also exist for insulating weapons, fuel tanks, electronics, and landing gear bays of military aircraft. There are also numerous and far-ranging applications for durable and reliable insulation systems that would improve the energy efficiency of high temperature industrial processes. Finally, the product will have a commercial impact in areas such as: appliance insulation, airliner fuselages, and industrial furnaces and could also be used as a cryogenic insulation for LNG fuel storage tanks where structural insulation materials are required.

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
Thermal Insulating Materials

Form Generated on 10-23-08 13:36