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Efficient Composite Repair Methods for Launch Vehicles

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX17CK09P
Agency Tracking Number: 170155
Amount: $125,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T12.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-06-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-06-08
Small Business Information
301 1st Street Southwest, Suite 200
Roanoke, VA 24011-1921
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Daniel Metrey
 Principal Investigator
 (540) 961-4509
Business Contact
 Shirley Evans
Title: Business Official
Phone: (540) 961-6724
Research Institution
 Aerospace Corp
 Leah Harris
2350 East El Segundo Blvd
El Segundo, CA 90245-4609
United States

 (310) 336-5233
 Federally Funded R&D Center (FFRDC)

Polymer matrix composites are increasingly replacing traditional metallic materials in NASA launch vehicles. However, the repair and subsequent inspection methods for these materials are considerably more complicated. Typically, a composite laminate patch must be manually fabricated and bonded or co-cured to the damaged structure. To ensure high quality patches with sufficient compaction and low void content, significant time, preparation and equipment is required. Current surface preparations require time consuming labor and can be a risk for further damage. The ideal repair methodology would allow for a rapid structural repair to be performed on-site in locations with minimal access and without the need for extensive tooling, surface prep, cure times and complicated inspection techniques. Engineers at Luna have developed a number of technologies that have the potential to enable high performance composite repair and inspection during pre-launch ground processing. Luna's comprehensive system will realize improvements via facile surface preparation, reduction of specialized fabrication equipment, rapid-on-demand curing resins and utilization of Luna's unique fiber optic measurement capability for monitoring repair state. This Phase I program will focus on developing these methods for composite damage that can be performed during ground processing of the launch vehicle without the need for full replacement

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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