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Multifunctional Thermal Protection System for Future Space Transportation…

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
12173 Montague Street Pacoima, CA 91331-2210
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Multifunctional Thermal Protection System for Future Space Transportation Vehicles, Phase II
Agency: NASA
Contract: NAS1-03052
Award Amount: $0.00


Current thermal protection systems (TPS) severely limit the flight path and the mission flexibility of space transportation vehicles, including reusable launch vehicles. TPS are essential, but add parasitic weight rather than providing both structural functionality and thermal protection. Multifunctional TPS with combined thermal-structural capability would be highly desirable. TPS are also subject to limited life due to rapid failure or need for replacement if the outer surface suffers damage. The overall objective of this project is to overcome the limitations of current TPS and enhance capabilities over developmental systems by demonstrating an innovative, multifunctional and self-healing TPS. This unique new system provides an unequaled combination of performance, large cross-section fabricability and low fabrication cost. Phase I emphasized baseline application definition and process development for the innovative carbon aerogel-filled, carbon foam core structure. A new lower-cost, larger-scale aerogel infiltration method was developed and demonstrated. This reduces processing time by >50% and no longer requires equipment-intensive, costly and scaleup-inhibiting supercritical drying of the aerogel. In a parallel, but secondary, effort, development was started of enhanced and potentially self-healing carbon/carbon facesheets. In Phase II, the technology will be scaled up and demonstrated for a selected application.

Principal Investigator:

Jerry W. Brockmeyer
Director of Engineering

Business Contact:

Craig N. Ward
Engineering Administrative Mgr
Small Business Information at Submission:

12173 Montague Street Pacoima, CA 91331

EIN/Tax ID: 952662293
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Southern Research Institute
757 Tom Martin Drive
Birmingham, AL 35211
Contact: Scott C. Brown
Contact Phone: (205) 581-2392
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university