NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 04.03-5120

PROJECT TITLE: Thin-Film Fresnel Reflectors with Preformed Inflatable Support Structures

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Off-axis Fresnel reflector design methodologies and manufacturing processes will be developed to provide the capability to produce large area flat thin polyimide reflectors which can be attached to precision preformed polyimide film support structures. The design methodologies will be used to determine optimal Fresnel reflector segment configurations that facilitate the assembly of complete reflectors that have the desired concentration ratios and focuses. Segment forming mandrels will be used to quantify and verify polyimide material processing parameters. Different approaches for application of highly reflective film coatings and segment joining will be evaluated to determine their efficacy for operational-scale reflector fabrication. Methods will be demonstrated for attachment of the complete reflector film to preformed inflatable torus-strut support structures that are rigidizable in-space with foam.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

This work will lead to manufacturing processes and design procedures to meet user needs for low-cost, operationally simple, long-life inflatable solar concentrators for solar orbit transfer vehicles, electrical power gereration, and high temperature materials processing in space. Other reflector applications are large antennas, microwave concentrators, and next generation space telescopes.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Rodney Bradford
United Apllied Technologies, Inc.
11506 Gilleland Road SE
Huntsville , AL 35803

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

United Applied Technologies, Inc.
11506 Gilleland Road
Huntsville , AL 35803