Aerogel Enhanced Thermal Management Systems for STSS
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
Aspen Aerogels is developing low-density, flexible aerogel composites to satisfy the thermal and mechanical insulation requirements for weight-sensitive launch vehicles or space based platforms. Efficient, low areal density protection to key structures and optical components from excessive solar (or other source) heating will be afforded by directly attaching the appropriately packaged insulation between hot and cold surfaces via satellite platform structural elements. The new insulation system is not compression sensitive, or installation sensitive to complex shapes like Multi-Layer Insulation, the current standard for space platforms. Rapid outgassing of water vapor (the only observable) has been demonstrated for the silica aerogel blanket materials, and water uptake when re-exposed to ambient humidity is comparable to MLI systems (about 0.2% by weight). Direct comparison of the thermal performance of the new insulation systems versus MLI will be made on a Cryotelescope during Phase II at Raytheon. The thermal conductivity of complex shaped insulated systems in the STSS configuration is expected to be predictable to a much greater degree of confidence for aerogel composites (around 2 mW/m-K in vacuum) compared to installed MLI. Significant reduction in modeling, design, installation, and production costs for the STSS platform should be realized in this effort.
Small Business Information at Submission:
ASPEN AEROGELS, INC.
184 CEDAR HILL STREET MARLBOROUGH, MA 01752
Number of Employees: