NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 S3.02-8541
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Thermal Control Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Aerogel-Based Multi-Layer Insulation with Micrometeoroid Protection

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
30 Forbes Road, Bldg. B
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
Northborough, MA 01527 - 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)
Cryogenic fluid management (CFM) is a critical technical area needed for successful development of Mars architectures. The biggest challenge is the storage of cryogenic propellants for long durations. These propellants have boiling points well below the environmental temperatures of earth orbit or Mars; as such, the tanks must be regularly vented to prevent over pressurization if they are not well insulated. Such venting would cause unacceptable propellant losses for the long-duration missions to Mars. Aspen Aerogels proposes to develop a multifunctional thermal insulation system that offers micrometeoroid orbital debris (MMOD) protection and inherent radiation shielding to meet NASA's CFM needs. Low density and resilient aerogel materials will be developed to provide the needed thermal and MMOD protection for space cryotank applications. The aerogels developed will have inherent radiation shielding components. Development of the proposed novel multifunctional system will provide NASA with a long-term cryogenic fluid management solution for space applications.

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 a wide variety of cryogenic applications such as in-space cryogenic tanks, transfer (pipelines) of cryogens / propellants, Mars exploration, and near earth orbit spacecraft. This material will be an excellent substitute for the expensive and cumbersome MLI for cryogenic insulation in space applications as well as other applications where weight, durability and maintenance of a thermal 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.
• 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 aerogel insulation, either evacuated or unevacuated.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Cryogenic/Fluid Systems
Isolation/Protection/Shielding (Acoustic, Ballistic, Dust, Radiation, Thermal)
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12