NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 X8.01-8579
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Fluid Transfer and Handling
PROPOSAL TITLE: Hybrid Aerogel-MLI Insulation System for Cryogenic Storage in Space Applications

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)
Redouane Begag
30 Forbes Road, Bldg B
Northborough, MA 01532 - 2501
(508) 466-3124

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The future of the NASA space program includes longer and more invasive missions into space, with a goal to return to the moon's surface by the year 2015. Long duration storage of large quantities of cryogenic fluids for propulsion, power, and life-support is an essential requirement for these missions. The behavior of active and passive cryogenic management is paramount to the thermal status of a spaceship and cryotanks storage. Efficient and reliable insulation materials are key to the success of long missions into space. Aspen Aerogels proposes to develop a durable and cost effective hybrid aerogel/MLI insulation system for cryogenic storage in space applications. The proposed hybrid insulation system will withstand micrometeoroids impacts and will outperform the MLI in cases of vacuum loss. During the Phase II Program, extensive work will be dedicated to the developing a system level solution for installation of the flexible hybrid insulation system onto cryotank surfaces to minimize seams, and thermal leaks. Development of the proposed novel cost effective insulation package will provide NASA with a long-term cryogenic propellant storage thermal control solution for applications in low earth orbit (LEO), and on the lunar surface.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The development and optimization of Aspen's low cost and durable hybrid aerogel/MLI insulation system will be immediately useful for wide variety of cryogenic applications such as In-space cryogenic tanks, transportation (pipelines) of cryogens and propellant, Mars exploration, near earth orbit spacecraft. This material will be an excellent substitute for the expensive, heavy, and cumbersome vacuum jacketed MLI for cryogenic insulation onboard spacecraft as well as other applications where lightweight, durability and maintainability of insulation are important.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The low cost aerogel insulation will be applicable and beneficial to industries ranging from aerospace to automotive, medicine, food processing, chemical processing and appliances. Some specific applications are as follows:
• Medical: Energy efficient storage of cryogens for medical use is always of interest.
• Food Processing: In poultry and seafood processing, use of LN2 is quite common for quick freezing and preservation.
• Appliances: Refrigerators and freezers can use high performance aerogels insulation, either evacuated or unevacuated.

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.

Fluid Storage and Handling
Propellant Storage
Spaceport Infrastructure and Safety
Thermal Insulating Materials

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14