NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 07.03-0003

PROJECT TITLE : Space Validation of Variable Absorptivity and Emissivity Thermal Control Materials (7117-180)

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) and EIC Laboratories propose to test in space environment variable absorptivity and emissivity thermal control coatings which incorporate electrochromic cells (EC). Our approach represents a very low-cost and first-of-its-kind effort within Phase I resources for developing a database on the performance of electrochromics in space over several months. These data will be critical to the design of all-solid-state, autonomous thermal control systems for future NASA spacecraft. We will deposit the thermal coatings on several calorimeters and calibrate these sensors for a potential flight on the upcoming Space Technology Research Vehicle - 2 (STRV-2) mission scheduled for launch in late 1997. STRV-2 incorporates calorimeters in the Space Active Modular Materials ExperimentS (SAMMES) payload sponsored by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). The SAMMES Principal Investigator will consider the electrochromic calorimeters as candidate test materials. Micron-level thicknesses of material layers sandwiching the EC will be deposited on thin glass substrates to achieve variable absorptivities emissivities from 0.3 to 0.9. The substrates will be bonded to calorimeters developed by PSI for BMDO. EIC Laboratories have considerable expertise in electrochromic materials technology and will supply the EC materials. EIC is currently developing variable emissivity materials for NASA GSFC under a Phase II SBIR.
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Active thermal control with electrochromics has wide ranging potential applications to all classes of NASA, DoD, and U.S. commercial spacecraft and payload systems. Technology to produce electrochromic materials in large area sheets/films/panels with uniform properties has direct applications to "smart windows" for future commercial and residual buildings.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Prakash B. Joshi
Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1077
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
Physical Sciences Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1077