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Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) of Missile Launcher Ablatives

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-20-C-0188
Agency Tracking Number: N18A-011-0205
Amount: $1,499,997.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N18A-T011
Solicitation Number: 18.A
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-01-23
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-12-16
Small Business Information
9063 Bee Caves Road
Austin, TX 78733
United States
DUNS: 625120902
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Russell Austin
 NDE Division Director
 (512) 263-2101
Business Contact
 Michael Dingus
Phone: (512) 615-4478
Research Institution
 The Curators of the University of Missouri, Missouri University of Science and Technology
 Costas Tsatsoulis Costas Tsatsoulis
300 W. 12th Street 202 Centennial Hall
Rolla, TX 65409
United States

 (573) 341-4134
 Nonprofit College or University

MK-41 VLS exhaust paths are lined with ablative insulation that chars and ablates with each missile firing. There is no way to inspect, in-situ, chemical and physical changes to the ablatives. Such measurements are complicated because ablative materials: vary with location, are low density, and degrade non-linearly with firings.Failure of VLS insulation is not an option – but the usage life of these large, complex, expensive structures must be maximized.In Phase I, the research team demonstrated ability to use a small, rugged NDE system to assess variations in new and as-fired ablatives. In Phase II we propose to significantly expand lab and field experiments to expand correlations between NDT data and properties of ablatives such as thickness and thermal damage levels. We will use these measurements to estimate remaining safe firings based on ablative condition.We will also build, field test and deliver to the Navy a rugged, handheld NDT system for sailors to use to collect ablative condition data.

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

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