Thermally Insulated Structural Aerogel Composites for Satellite
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
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 state of the art MLI. Aspen now proposes to develop integrated aerogel-based, structural satellite panels, thus eliminating the need for "add-on" insulation, such as MLI. To accomplish this Aspen proposes a dual approach solution that involves aerogel material development in parallel with structural system-level design development to meet the thermal performance requirements of structural satellite panels. Materials development will focus on an aerogel material that is lightweight, with a low thermal conductivity value, is highly durable and reliable over the satellite lifetime. System-level design development will evaluate and trade-off three aerogel-based concepts in order to optimize the panel system design for minimum thermal transfer while maintaining the adequate structural integrity required for satellite applications.
Small Business Information at Submission:
ASPEN AEROGELS, INC.
30 Forbes Road Building B Northborough, MA 01532
Number of Employees: