Thermally Insulated Structural Aerogel Composites for Satellite
Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) is the most commonly used thermal insulation material for spacecraft applications due to its low thermal conductivity in vacuum. However, MLI has several problems including thermal shorts, is labor intensive to fabricate and install and its performance is negatively affected when insulating complex shapes; therefore significant improvements are needed in satellite insulation materials. Aerogel thermal blanket technology has been shown to meet the demanding requirements for space missions with significantly reduced installation time, reduced weight, reduced installed costs, and equivalent thermal performance to MLI. Aspen is now developing aerogel-based, integrated thermal structural (ITS) panel assemblies, with the goal of eliminating the need for"add-on"insulation, such as MLI. The approach for this effort will be to complete the development of ITS panel assemblies that were conceptually designed in the Phase I program and then comprehensively test these aerogel-based panels and document their mechanical and thermal performance in comparison to aluminum honeycomb counterparts. In addition, mounting interface components will be developed so the ITS panels can be securely mounted to satellite structures and other satellite assemblies can be mounted to the ITS panels. Once completed, the ITS panels will be subjected to a series of space qualification tests.
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ASPEN AEROGELS, INC.
30 Forbes Road Building B Northborough, MA -
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