NASA STTR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 T3.01-9920
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Space Power and Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE: Radiation Resistant, Reconfigurable, Shape Memory Metal Rubber™ Space Arrays

NAME: Nanosonic, Inc. NAME: Colorado State University
STREET: 1485 South Main Street STREET: 1618 Campus Delivery
CITY: Blacksburg CITY: Ft. Collins
STATE/ZIP: VA  24060 - 5556 STATE/ZIP: CO  80523 - 1618
PHONE: (540) 953-1785 PHONE: (970) 491-6450

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jennifer Lalli
1485 South Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060 - 5556
(540) 953-1785

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NanoSonic has demonstrated that Shape Memory Metal RubberTM (SM-MR) adaptive skins exhibit reconfigurable and durable RF properties. It is hypothesized that such morphing skins shall also exhibit durable radiation resistance upon morphing; a property that few, if any, flexible materials offer. Typical highly filled or metal evaporated nanocomposites crack and spall upon flexation, and cannot be repeatedly mechanically stretched without rupture after a few cyclic strains. SM-MR nanostructured morphing materials are based on self-assembled high z, dense, Au and Ag nanoparticles, rather than Pb. Our manufacturing process yields tough skins that can be repeatedly and severely mechanically morphed without loss of EMI shielding (-88dB). NanoSonic, together with Colorado State University, have demonstrated that SM-MR is up to 50% lighter in weight and provides greater gamma ray attenuation relative to commercial off-the-shelf shielding materials, without emitting harmful secondary radiation under a 137Cs source. During Phase I, radiation shielding would be verified for SM-MR during potential disparate space array morphed configurations to demonstrate durability, stowability, and reconfigurability for space tolerant structures with self-healing properties to reach TRL6. TRL8 and 9 shall be reached during Phase II and III with assistance from our space systems prime partner upon flight testing and integration.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Structural, high temperature, radiation resistant Shape Memory-Metal RubberTM composite materials having unique morphology and multiple controlled electromagnetic properties are possible via NanoSonic's automated spray ESA manufacturing approach. SM-MR adaptive materials represent a new class of robust, stowable deployable structures for spacecraft based on covalently bound shape memory polymers and nanostructured conductive particles. For this program, SM-MR shall be integrated as rad hard space power systems, radiation tolerant deployable solar arrays, and shielding coatings for exploration vehicles and satellites in LEO, GEO, and HEO. NanoSonic's SMPs may be combined with our family of nanostructure materials produced in house (noble metals, magnetics, ceramics and quantum dots) for limitless combinations of multifunctional morphing materials for civil and space applications. SM-MR free standing nanostructured skins offer dual-use commercialization for NASA and civil markets in the electronics, aerospace, automobile and microelectronics markets for the production of conductive, high temperature, rad hard coatings.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Additional applications for SM-MR include ultra-lightweight sensors/actuators for shape changing inflatables, rigidizable/deployable aerospace structures, and as protective coatings against electrostatic charging, radiation, and abrasion. Low cost, highly EMI/ESD protective skins for aerospace, biomedical and microelectronic components are offered via Shape Memory Metal RubberTM with metal-like EMI SE up to -88dB under repeated and severe reconfigurations. Such EMI shielding skins can be envisioned for use on aircraft, morphing unmanned aerial vehicles, antennas and space structures. Structural, high temperature, composite materials having unique dielectric and multiple controlled electromagnetic properties are possible via NanoSonic's layer-by-layer approach. Spray ESA is envisioned as a cost-effective, environmentally friendly technology to displace sputtering and traditional dense filled composites. Metal RubberTM Fabrics and films can also function as conducting electrodes for high strain mechanical actuator and sensor devices, and as low-weight, electrically conductive and mechanically flexible coatings for systems requiring physically-robust electromagnetic shielding, ground planes or electrical interconnection.

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.

Autonomous Control and Monitoring
Earth-Supplied Resource Utilization
K-12 Outreach
Manned-Maneuvering Units
Micro Thrusters
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Photovoltaic Conversion
Portable Life Support
Radiation Shielding Materials
Radiation-Hard/Resistant Electronics
Renewable Energy
Spaceport Infrastructure and Safety
Thermal Insulating Materials

Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14