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Aerogel Enhanced TPS Concepts for Aerocapture

Award Information

Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
71979
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
035783
Solicitation Year:
N/A
Solicitation Topic Code:
N/A
Solicitation Number:
N/A
Small Business Information
ASPEN AEROGELS, INC.
30 Forbes Road Building B Northborough, MA -
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: Aerogel Enhanced TPS Concepts for Aerocapture
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNM04AA84C
Award Amount: $69,962.00
 

Abstract:

NASA?s In-Flight Propulsion Program is investigating aerocapture as a rapid, highly efficient method for insertion of probes into long-duration scientific orbits. Aerocapture, an aggressive braking maneuver intended to achieve a scientific orbit directly (?capture?) from a hyperbolic approach trajectory, places extremely high peak heat loads of short duration on the leading surfaces of the spacecraft. Flexible silica aerogel composites, a class of super-insulation material recently developed by Aspen Aerogels, has not been utilized before in high temperature TPS designs. Thermophysical characterization data will be collected during the Phase I program for high-temperature durable, flexible aerogel composites at different densities, pressures and temperatures. The test data will be used to run detailed thermal performance simulations for the Titan aerocapture mission using TPS designs incorporating the best performing material. During the Phase I program, an aerogel augmented TPS lay-up using the best performing materials will be sized to maintain the aeroshell bondline temperature below 250 ?C for the duration of the Titan aerocapture maneuver. The aerogel TPS design is likely to save over 60 kg of parasitic forebody TPS weight for the Titan Orbiter aeroshell compared to the most promising non-aerogel alternative (TUFROC).

Principal Investigator:

George Gould
Principal Investigator
5084815058
glgould@aerogel.com

Business Contact:

Kang P. Lee
Chairman/CTO
5084815058
contracts@aerogel.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
184 Cedar Hill St. Marlborough, MA 01752

EIN/Tax ID: 043559972
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No