Form 9.B Project Summary



Proposal Number:


Project Title:

Flexible, Lightweight Radiator for an

Inflatable Mars Spacecraft

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

NASA has established an initiative for the manned

exploration of Mars using an inflatable

spacecraft/habitat. The inflatable nature of this

spacecraft implies that the heat rejection radiator

must be flexible and foldable. Overall feasibililty of

flexible radiators has been demonstrated, however,

limited work has been done to design and qualify

the flexible radiator materials for extended space


Accordingly, the objective of this Phase I is to

establish a baseline for the performance of the

flexible radiator materials with respect to atomic

oxygen, ultraviolet radiation, flex fatigue failure,

thermal cycling, micro meteoroid puncture and

optical properties. Several candidate flexible

radiator materials will be tested. The Phase I work

will conclude with recommendations for material

improvements. In Phase II, these improvement wil

be implemented and the materials re-tested.

Ultimately, the best material will be selected and a

prototype radiator will be constructed and thermal

vacuum tested.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The largest commercial application for flexible

radiators is satellite thermal control. Presently,

various organizations are planning to place

constellations of satellites into orbit. With the

demand towards smaller size and higher power, a

flexible radiator that can be compactly rolled or

folded, stored for launch and deployed in orbit to

present a large radiating area would be not only

beneficial but enabling for these satellites. In

addition, a lightweight radiator will have significant

economic benefits due to the reduced launch

payload weight and volume.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

John E. Fale

Thermacore, Inc.

780 Eden Road

Lancaster , PA 17601

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Donald M. Ernst

Thermacore, Inc.

780 Eden Road

Lancaster , PA 17601