In Subtopic Z4.01, NASA has identified a critical need for lightweight structures and advanced materials for deep-space exploration. International Scientific has developed a number of advanced multifunctional materials to protect against the hazards of space radiation, including protons, alpha particles and heavy ions from galactic cosmic rays and other ions from solar particle events. In order to raise the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of these advanced polymeric radiation-shielding materials, International Scientific Technologies, Inc. proposes to develop an active-monitoring experimental package for use on the MISSE-FF platform. The Phase I SBIR program demonstrated the feasibility of developing a flight-qualified Technology Demonstration Experiment to be carried on the MISSE-FF platform to facilitate Technology Infusion of developed advanced radiation-shielding materials. Phase II Technical Objectives include fabrication of advanced lightweight materials and structures for use in the active monitoring of radiation-shield effectiveness, evaluation of active radiation detector/dosimeter for measurement of total ionizing dose to determine radiation-shielding effectiveness of advanced materials in the external environment of the International Space Station, design, construction and optimization of an experimental package for integration on the MISSE-FF Platform on the International Space Station, and field testing and integration of a MISSE package in conjunction with NASA and Alpha Space personnel. The anticipated results of the Phase II research program is the delivery of a flight-qualified demonstration package for inclusion on a MISSE mission to advance the TRL of advanced polymeric radiation-shielding materials to facilitate commercialization.
NASA directorates that can use the proposed space radiation-shielding technology are the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD), and Science Mission Directorate (SMD). Other programs that can benefit using this technology include the Flight Opportunities Program (FOP), International Space Station Program (ISSP), Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Program, and In-space Robotic Manufacturing and Assembly (IRMA) Project.
The DoD and DHS will find applications that include protection of soldiers, first responders and emergency medical personnel against radiation resulting from so-called dirty bombs as well as from hazards brought about through accidental release of radiological materials. Workers in medical and industrial facilities will also benefit from shielding garments having reduced weight and thermal stress.