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Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding (VSRS)

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Tethers Unlimited, Inc.
WA Bothell, WA 98011-8808
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding (VSRS)
Agency: DOD
Contract: FA9453-12-M-0336
Award Amount: $149,941.00


ABSTRACT: We propose to adapt additive manufacturing techniques to fabricate multifunctional"Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding"(VSRS) components that provide multi-layer radiation shielding, multi-layer thermal insulation, electro-magnetic interference (EMI) shielding, and structural strength. Our approach of using additive manufacturing techniques, such as Selective Laser Sintering and Fused Deposition Modeling, to create multi-material, multi-layer structures enables more affordable and customizable radiation shielding that can be printed quickly at flight-ready quality and in geometries that serve multiple purposes. This game-changing technology uses the design freedom offered by additive manufacturing to make full use of the mass-savings of multi-layer radiation shielding, by being able to fabricate such multi-layer shielding in arbitrary geometries. This alone facilitates up to a 60% mass savings over single-material approaches. Further mass and cost savings are achievable by being able to produce radiation shielding structures that can serve multi-purpose functionality: the shielding can be designed to concurrently serve as structure, multi-layer thermal insulation, and EMI shielding. This new approach is expected to reduce both lead times and schedule costs due to the ease of manufacturing intricate structures with additive manufacturing.In the Phase II effort, sample testing in radiation environments will be pursued to characterize the performance and to qualify the technology. BENEFIT: Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding technology is targeted at meeting the needs of the DoD, NASA, and commercial missions who seek to extend mission life and improve performance through cost-effective radiation shielding. This new radiation-shielding technology will be able to be used at several levels: as stand-alone casing/shielding for electronics, as both structure and shielding, or as multi-layer insulation that also serves as structure, radiation shielding, and EMI shielding. Since nearly all spacecraft use MLI and many use radiation shielding, there is a large potential market for the Versatile Radiation Shielding. With the degree of flexibility inherent in VRS, it is appropriate for use in large communication satellites down to the CubeSat scale or smaller. The cost to implement the VRS technology scales with the implementation, making it affordable at all scales. This includes academia, private, and government satellite programs.

Principal Investigator:

Jonathan Wrobel
Space Systems Engineer
(425) 486-0100

Business Contact:

Robert Hoyt
CEO&Chief Scientist
(425) 486-0100
Small Business Information at Submission:

Tethers Unlimited, Inc.
11711 N. Creek Pkwy S., Suite D113 Bothell, WA -

EIN/Tax ID: 911834561
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No