NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-2 X9.01-9879
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Ablative Thermal Protection Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Graded Density Carbon Bonded Carbon Fiber (CBCF) Preforms for Lightweight Ablative Thermal Protection Systems (TPS)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Fiber Materials, Inc.
5 Morin St
Biddeford, ME 04005 - 4497
(207) 282-5911

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steven Violette
5 Morin Street
Biddeford, ME 04005 - 4497
(207) 282-5911

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
FMI has developed graded density CBCF preforms for graded density phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (PICA) material to meet NASA's future exploration mission requirements for higher performance ablative TPS. Graded Preform PICA (GPP) will be achieved by the continued development of lightweight, graded density carbon preforms which will decrease the overall areal mass of the resulting TPS material while enhancing its thermal performance capability. The preform material designed to achieve this goal is comprised of a more mechanically robust, ablating outer layer and a lower weight, lower thermal conductivity inner layer than state-of-the-art PICA material. The ablative outer layer and thermal inner layer will be integrated in a continuously cast, monolithic material with equivalent capability for resin impregnation and conversion to PICA as the baseline existing preform material (FiberForm®). During the proposed Phase II program, FMI will continue to develop its capability to produce graded density preform material to achieve TPS areal mass reductions estimated between 17-25% relative to PICA with the goal of improving ablation performance. The developed preform materials will be converted to GPP and then characterized mechanically, thermally, and tested for ablation performance. In addition to providing a pathway for these enhancements to tile acreage PICA TPS ablator material, FMI will incorporate the developed processing methodology to produce near net-shaped cast PICA TPS material preforms with a reduced density gradient compared to baseline manufacturing techniques.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Stardust Sample Return Capsule completed its objective with earth reentry in January 2006. Mars Science Laboratory Aeroshell heat shield has been completed and delivery of the Curiosity rover to Mars is scheduled for 2015. With the successful fabrication of these PICA TPS heat shields in support of NASA flight missions, FMI has quoted and is prepared to continue supporting PICA heat shield missions. The program proposed will assist FMI in support of the NASA missions including ORISIS-REx and Mars EDL development by demonstrating near net-shaped density control and areal mass reduction. While OSIRIS-Rex is intended to use Stardust-like TPS, the demonstration in this program will validate improvements over the Stardust preform and provide a baseline for future missions. Thus, a successful program will enable other NASA TPS mission requirements.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
PICA preform development conducted under this program program would support commercial space operations including Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS). During 2008, NASA entered into contracts with Orbital Sciences and SpaceX to utilize their COTS cargo vehicles, Cygnus and Dragon respectively, for cargo delivery to the International Space Station (ISS). PICA is an enabling technology for earth return vehicles. More tightly controlled TPS preform density and resulting properties increases utility and reliability for commerical space applications.

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)
Processing Methods

Form Generated on 12-15-11 17:36