NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-2 X9.01-9863
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Ablative Thermal Protection Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE: Temperature, Heat Flux and Recession Sensing for Ablative Thermal Protection Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Industrial Measurement Systems
2760 Beverly Drive, Unit 4
Aurora, IL 60502 - 8604
(630) 236-5901

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Donald Yuhas
760 Beverly Drive, Unit 4
Aurora, IL 60502 - 8604
(630) 236-5901

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The Phase I program demonstrated the efficacy of real-time of ultrasonic recession measurements on low density TPS materials. Measurements on internal echoes established the feasibility of non-intrusive temperature measurements. In the Phase II program we will continue to improve, optimize, and extend the technology. Sensors with better elevated temperature performance will be developed and configured for ablation measurements. Instrumentation with improved low frequency and more robust time-of flight algorithms will be incorporated into the system. Configurations with multiple sensors suitable for mapping recession profiles will be evaluated. The measurement technique will be applied and measurement results verified through a series of ablation tests where the real-time recession data will be quantitatively compared to that obtained from post-ablation analysis.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
PICA and materials of its class are currently under development worldwide, including a Carbon-Resin by the European Space Agency (ESA). The largest current scheduled user of PICA-class ablators is SpaceX which utilizes a PICA-X variant in the Dragon spacecraft for earth re-entry. This environment is toward the lower end of heat fluxes and ablation to be encountered during a re-entry procedure. All private and public space endeavors that require re-entry heat shielding can benefit from the technology developed under this program which can augment and improve modeling, test ablators in real-world conditions and perform health monitoring roles in test articles.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Mass and heat dissipation performance are critical to thermal protection systems for many NASA objectives both in spaceflight and hypersonic flight. Low-density carbon phenolics perform well in both of these critical parameters. Phenolic Impregnated Ceramic Ablator (PICA) was developed by NASA/Ames in the mid-nineties and flown successfully in the Stardust mission. This particular material is of active interest to NASA, with its use in the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and the possibility of its selection for multiple future missions. Real-time recession and heat flux measurements will support continued development of this class of ablators as well as mission specific implementation. Ablator performance models can be enhanced with higher fidelity temperature data and used for faster development with decreasing cost. Future programs are also in need of PICA and PICA class ablators. Two of the New Frontiers Program proposals incorporate PICA for sample return missions including MoonRise, a Lunar South Pole-Aitken Basin Sample Return Mission which would place a lander in a broad basin near the moon's south pole and return approximately two pounds of lunar materials for study and Osiris-Rex which would rendezvous and orbit a primitive asteroid, returning more than two ounces of material from the asteroid's surface.

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.)
Ablative Propulsion
Analytical Methods
Condition Monitoring (see also Sensors)
Destructive Testing
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Astronautics)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Simulation & Modeling
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)
Spacecraft Instrumentation & Astrionics (see also Communications; Control & Monitoring; Information Systems)

Form Generated on 11-06-12 18:12