Flexible Transpiration Cooled Thermal Protection System for Inflatable Atmospheric Capture and Entry Systems
Andrews Space, Inc. proposes an innovative transpiration cooled aerobrake TPS design that is thermally protective, structurally flexible, and lightweight. This innovative design will meet launch volume constraints and satisfy terminal aerobraking requirements. The approach will focus on transpiration cooling of a flexible material and employs preceramic polymers and active filler technologies as key features of the TPS design. The major hurdle to inflatable aerobrakes becoming reality is the development of a lightweight and structurally flexible TPS. Alternative designs have focused on complex multilayering to increase the effective emissivity of the material, whereas Andrews Space will focus on reducing the thickness, thus decreasing the overall system mass. By combining well understood materials with an innovative, flexible, transpiration cooled TPS, a realizable inflatable aerobrake system has been developed which shows up to 56% mass savings over traditional, rigid aeroshells and 23% over other leading designs.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Andrews Space & Technology
505 5th Avenue South, Suite 300 Seattle, WA 98104
Number of Employees: