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A Tailorable Structural Composite for GCR and Albedo Neutron Protection on the…

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Plasma Processes, LLC
4914 Moores Mill Road Huntsville, AL 35811-1558
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: A Tailorable Structural Composite for GCR and Albedo Neutron Protection on the Lunar Surface
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX09CF44P
Award Amount: $100,000.00


A tailorable structural composite that will provide protection from the lunar radiation environment, including GCR and albedo neutrons will be developed. This composite will have increased structural strength combined with more efficient shielding of GCR and albedo neutrons when compared to previously developed composites, leading to increased TRL level. Boron coated fabric will be integrated precisely where it will have the most positive effect on shield characteristics (according to simulations and testing), providing an efficient and highly tailorable composite. A highly innovative processing method, Low Pressure Vacuum Plasma Spray (LPVPS), will be demonstrated during this effort to deposit a layer of boron containing natural abundance of 10B onto carbon fabric from the vapor phase. Benefits of this processing method include significantly higher deposition rates and through-put than PVD/CVD, significantly larger deposition footprint, and excellent quality control due to the exact nature of the deposition process. Composite strength will be increased by using carbon fabric as a carrier for the 10B, with bonding between the coated fabric and epoxy matrix enhanced through surface treatments. Thermal protection system incorporation for protection against temperature extremes and micrometeorite impact will be investigated during Phase 2.

Principal Investigator:

Elizabeth Schofield
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Timothy N. McKechnie
Small Business Information at Submission:

Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road Huntsville, AL 35811

EIN/Tax ID: 631100320
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No