Multifunctional Structural Materals For Advanced Thermal Protection Systems
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
The vision for routine space access and rapid turn around rates requires space vehicles to be more aircraft-like in their reliability. To achieve this reliability requires robust, high temperature material systems. Systems under consideration includeceramic or carbon matrix reinforced composite structures. The history of these structures however, suggests their brittle nature and limited design options provides a barrier to their reliable availability to the Military Space Plane. Aztex has recognizedthis limitation and has developed technologies for through-thickness reinforcement, thermal tailoring, and high temperature cures. The proposed Phase II program targets the development of robust durable multi-functional structure and thermal protectionsystems for SOV. Together with our team partner, Boeing Space Systems, we will demonstrate a reinforced high temperature core system, which will serve both as the TPS and the primary load carrying structure. This system will be a major improvement over theredundant TPS and airframe structure considered baseline today. The Aztex/Boeing team understands however, that it is not just one effective structure that makes reliable space flight feasible but robust, design flexible material systems. Thus a keyactivity will be to demonstrate basic materials improvements in interlaminar properties, thermal capability and stiffener attachment.
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