NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X9.01-8464
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Ablative Thermal Protection Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Ablative Flexible Aerogel TPS Materials for Mars Aerocapture and Entry

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)
Wendell Rhine
30 Forbes Road
Northborough, MA 01527 - 2501
(508) 466-3130

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Renewed interest in missions to explore other planets has created a need for new advanced heat shield systems that will protect spacecraft from the severe heating encountered during hypersonic flight through planetary atmospheres. Both reusable and ablative TPS have been developed to protect spacecraft. Typically, reusable TPS have been used for the Shuttle where the reentry conditions are relatively mild while ablative TPS materials have been used on planetary entry probes where high heating rates are generated. Additional advances in TPS design are needed to deliver large payloads to the moon and Mars, and to explore the outer planets. Flexible or deployable aeroshells offer an approach for achieving larger aeroshell surface areas for entry vehicles than otherwise attainable without deployment. Larger surface area aeroshells offer the ability to decelerate high-mass entry vehicles at relatively low ballistic coefficients. However, for an aeroshell to perform even at the low ballistic coefficients attainable with deployable aeroshells, a flexible thermal protection system (TPS) is required that is capable of surviving reasonably high heat flux and durable enough to survive the rigors of construction, handling, and deployment. Aspen Aerogels proposes to develop ablative flexible reinforced aerogels to meet this challenge.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The multifunctional aerogel-based materials developed during this project will have applications as ablative TPS for use on many NASA spacecraft.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The aerogels developed in this project would find applications for military hypersonic vehicles.

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.)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Isolation/Protection/Shielding (Acoustic, Ballistic, Dust, Radiation, Thermal)

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12