NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 X10.01-9295
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Cryogenic Fluid Management Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Thin Aerogel as a Spacer in Multi-Layer Insulation for Cryogenic Space Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
30 Forbes Road, Building 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 01532 - 2501
(508) 691-1161

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Long duration storage of large quantities of cryogenic fluids for propulsion, power, and life-support is an essential requirement for long-term missions into space. The behavior of active and passive cryogenic fluid management (CFM) is paramount to the reliability of a spaceship and cryotank storage. Therefore, efficient and reliable insulation materials are key to the success of space missions. Aspen Aerogels proposes to develop a Multi-Layer Aerogel Insulation (MLAI) system to meet NASA's CFM needs. Aerogel has been demonstrated to be more durable and reliable than MLI, at a lower weight and reduced cost with comparable thermal performance. During this program, Aspen Aerogels will validate the key process step for a next generation aerogel manufacturing technology to enable the fabrication the proposed aerogel material. This new process is also expected to enable cost reduction of aerogel materials in general, a requirement to penetrate larger commercial thermal insulation markets. Development of the proposed MLAI system will provide NASA with a long-term CFM solution for space applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Low weight, ease of installation and overall mechanical and thermal performance of aerogels as a spacer material will serve as a durable and more reliable replacement for NASA's traditionally used multi-layer insulation (MLI). Durability improvements will reduce maintenance costs and extend the period of cryogen storage and the life expectancy of the insulation system. In addition to spacecraft and other cryogen storage, applications including EVA suits, gloves, and footwear could also benefit from the thin and low density aerogel technology. The proposed insulation material will also find use in terrestrial applications, such as improved and durable insulation material for cryogenic fluid storage and transfer pipelines in preparation for launch.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Successful development of a multi-layer aerogel insulation system will be immediately useful for a wide variety of cryogenic applications such as cryogenic storage tanks and transfer lines for LNG, LN2, etc. Thin aerogel would also be highly applicable to the very large apparel insulation market. Additionally, reducing aerogel cost through this process will allow much broader penetration into existing insulation markets, including building and construction.

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
Heat Exchange

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43