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Materials for Mars Thermal Environment

Description:

ScopeTitle:

Insulation for Mars ThermalEnvironment

ScopeDescription:

At a high level, this subtopic andscope is soliciting development of thermal insulation solutions for EVAsuits on the martian surface. It seeks to address deficits with previousdevelopments as it relates to thermal resistance, cyclingperformance (brittleness), and feasibility for use in a spacesuitapplication. For this development, there are several characteristics ofconcern:

  • Thermal conductivity less than 5 W/mK at8.0 torr.
  • Operating range -250 °F to +250 °F.
  • Maximum thickness 0.5-in. (threshold) and0.25-in. (goal).
  • Tensile strength.
  • Abrasion resistance.
  • Stiffness (drape).
  • Cycle performance at room temperature (change to thermalresistance, particulate generation/loss of mass).
  • Cycle performance at -100 °F (change to thermalresistance, particulate generation/loss of mass).
    • Cycle performance testing to be based on previous testingin Reference 4 of this solicitation (Trevino et al.)with additional consideration for low-temperature testing).

Expected TRL or TRL Range at completion of theProject: 2 to 6

Primary TechnologyTaxonomy:

  • Level 1 06 HumanHealth, Life Support, and HabitationSystems
  • Level 2 06.2 ExtravehicularActivitySystems

DesiredDeliverables of Phase I and PhaseII:

  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Prototype
  • Hardware

DesiredDeliverables Description:

Desired Phase Ideliverables:

  • Research and analysis to down-select possible materialformulations and/or processes.  
  • Initial prototypes (coupon level) of candidate solutions.
  • Identification of appropriate material evaluations to meetrequirements (see Scope Description and Ref. 4 of thissolicitation (Trevino et al.)).
  • Preliminary test data of candidate solutions based onselected material evaluations.
  • Delivery of samples to NASA.

Desired Phase II deliverables:

  • Selection of one or two candidates from Phase I tooptimize.
  • Optimization for performance against standardized and novelmaterial evaluations (see Scope Description and Ref. 7of this solicitation (Tang et al.)).
  • Final test data of optimized designs per establishedevaluations.
  • Delivery of samples to NASA.
  • Fabrication of a full or subscale prototype (or acceptablesurrogate test article) and delivery to NASA for additionalevaluations.

State of the Art and CriticalGaps:

Critical gaps include:

  • Thermal conductivity that is too high, resulting in materialthickness that is too great for the suit application (resulting inincreased bulk and decreased mobility/dexterity).
  • Cycling performance, showing minimal loss of thermal resistanceand minimal particulate generation at -100 °F for at least250,000 bending/torsion cycles. 
  • Proposers will need to demonstrate feasibility of improving overthe current state-of-the-art fiber-reinforced aerogels as documented inReference 7 of this solicitation (Tang et al). 

Relevance / ScienceTraceability:

The subtopic has relevancy formany surface elements of a Mars campaign where thermalinsulation is required. Rovers, habitats, power systems etc.

References:

  1. NASA, SLS-SPEC-159 Revision 1, "Cross-Program DesignSpecification for Natural Environments (DSNE)” (Oct.2021) https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/20210024522/downloads/SLS-SPEC-159%20Cross-Program%20Design%20Specification%20for%20Natural%20Environments%20(DSNE)%20REVISION%20I.pdf
  2. Macleod, Shawn R., Jacobs, Shane E., Doherty, Matthew T., Ripps,Travis B. "Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment Development for anExploration EVA Glove" (2014) https://ttu-ir.tdl.org/handle/2346/59682
  3. Trevino, L. Advanced Space Suit Insulation FeasibilityStudy. NASA Technical Report Server 20100042640. (2000) https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/20100042640
  4. Trevino, L., Orndoff, E., Tang, H., Gould, G. etal., Aerogel-Based Insulation for Advanced Space Suit, SAETechnical Paper 2002-01-2316 (2002) https://www.sae.org/publications/technical-papers/content/2002-01-2316/
  5. Crowell, Cameron et. al. Aerogel Fabrics in AdvancedSpace Suit Applications. https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/90354
  6. Leventis, Nicholas. Mechanically Strong LightweightMaterials for Aerospace Applications (x-aerogels). 56th InternationalAstronautical Congress. January 1, 2005. https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/20060013346
  7. Tang, H., Orndoff, E., and Trevino, L., ThermalPerformance of Space Suit Elements with Aerogel Insulation for Moon andMars Exploration, SAE Technical Paper 2006-01-2235 (2006) https://www.sae.org/publications/technical-papers/content/2006-01-2235/
  8. Aerogel-Based Multilayer Insulation With MicrometeoroidProtection. NASA Tech Briefs. (May 1, 2013) https://www.techbriefs.com/component/content/article/tb/pub/briefs/materials/16340
  9. Doherty, M.T., Tufts, D.B., Jacobs, S. E., Macleod, S.R. Extravehicular Activity Space Suit Glove Development forFuture Space Exploration. 43rd International Conference onEnvironmental Systems, July, 2013. AIAA 2013-3426.https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2013-3426

Scope Title:

Materialsfor Extreme Cold ThermalEnvironments

ScopeDescription:

This scope is for boot outsoles,pads on the EVA glove and knee, and adhesives used on the EVAsuit in extreme thermal environments such as Mars or the Moon.

Materials optimized for outsoles for the boot applicationrequire sustained contact with regolith at temperatures as lowas 50 K. The outsoles experience rapid temperature changes whentransitioning from a sunlit area to a shaded area, and subsequent largetemperature gradients between the bottom of the boot sole and the top.The outsole must be sufficiently durable to survive ambulation on thelunar or Mars surface, including jumping and crouching, as wellas inadvertent kicking of rocks and inadvertent trips and fallsonto the surface. The outsole may carry axial loads from theleg due to suit pressurization and human-induced loads. Lastly, it isdesirable that the boot outsole provide modest flexibility within someof the total operating range of -370 °F to 200°F.

Materials optimized for finger and palm pads on the EVA gloves, orknee pads require sustained and repeated contact with regolithat temperatures as low as 50 K. The pads will experience rapidtemperature changes when transitioning from a sunlit area to a shadedarea, and subsequent large temperature gradients between the outersurface of the pads and the inner surface. Delamination of the pads fromthe underlying glove outer fabric is a concern. The pads must besufficiently durable to survive repeated contact with the surface andEVA tools. Lastly, it is desirable that the pads provide modestflexibility within some of the total operating range of -370 °Fto 200 °F, which aids in hand mobility andtactility. 

This scope also covers adhesives suitable for the cryogenicenvironment from -370 °F to 200 °F, which will be seenon the Moon or Mars. These adhesives are used to bond plastics,metals, and textiles, often with different surface finishes, chemicalcompositions, and thermal expansion coefficients. The adhesives willexperience rapid temperature changes when hardware transitions from asunlit area to a shaded area. The adhesives must carry high structuralloads at all temperature due to the forces induced by jumping,crouching, trips, falls, grabbing tools, and contact with the Mars orlunar surface. It is desired that the adhesivesprovide modest flexibility within some of the total operatingrange.

Expected TRL or TRL Range at completion of theProject: 2 to 6

Primary TechnologyTaxonomy:

  • Level 1 06 HumanHealth, Life Support, and HabitationSystems
  • Level 2 06.2 ExtravehicularActivitySystems

DesiredDeliverables of Phase I and PhaseII:

  • Prototype
  • Hardware

DesiredDeliverables Description:

Desired Phase I deliverables:

  • Research and analysis to down-select possible materialformulations and/or processes. 
  • Initial prototypes (coupon level) of candidate solutions.
  • Identification of appropriate material evaluations to meetrequirements
  • Preliminary test data of candidate solutions based onselected material evaluations. At a minimum, materialevaluations include: 
    • Flexure/breaking load of sample at room and cryogenictemperature.
    • Thermal shock.
    • Peel strength and/or CTE mismatch (if appropriate, e.g., gloveRTV pads).
    • Additional tests at the recommendation of the vendor in order tominimize risk in a potential Phase II award.
  • Delivery of samples to NASA.

Desired Phase II deliverables:

  • Selection of 1-2 candidates from Phase I to optimize.
  • Optimization for performance against standardized and novelmaterial evaluation. At minimum, to include:
    • Temperature retraction (ASTM D1329 or similar).
    • Glass transition temperature (ASTM D7426 or similar).
    • Brittleness (ASTM D2137 or similar).
    • Torsion/stiffening (ASTM D1053 or similar).
    • Flexure/breaking load of sample at room temperature (TestTBD).
    • Flexure/breaking load of sample at cryogenic temperature (TestTBD).
    • Thermal shock (Test TBD).
    • UV degradation (ASTM D4329 or similar).
    • Off-gassing at NASA White Sands Test Facility (WSTF).
    • Adhesion/peel strength and/or CTE mismatch (if appropriate) (TestTBD).
  • Final test data of optimized designs per establishedevaluations.
  • Delivery of samples to NASA.
  • Fabrication of a full or subscale prototype (or acceptablesurrogate test article) and delivery to NASA for additionalevaluations.

State of the Art and CriticalGaps:

Classicsilicones for cryogenic applications (seals, etc.) offer operatingtemperatures as low as -100 °C (-148 °F). PTFE is oftenused at lower temperatures but has drawbacks such as large thermalexpansion. Modified fluoropolymers such aspolymonochlorotrifluoroethylene (PCTFE) or perfluoropolyether (PFPE)offer operating ranges for sealing applications down to absolute zero,but they are often for static applications without additionalrequirements for room temperature ductility, UV resistance, off-gassing,etc. The unique requirements set imposed by the lunar suit applicationhave not been specifically addressed in any previous development forNASA or private industry.

Relevance / ScienceTraceability:

Thesubtopic has relevancy for many systems within a Mars campaign. It isalso relevant to the Artemis Program, including the HumanLanding System (HLS), the Lunar Terrain Vehicle, (LTV), and suits (EVA).There is also relevancy for EVA tools, a future pressurizedrover, and any other lunar surface assets.

References:

  1. 2022 ICES manuscript on xEMU Lunar Boots: https://ttu-ir.tdl.org/handle/2346/89781
  2. Exploration EVA Concept of Operations: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/eva-exp-0042_xeva_system_con_ops_rev_b_final_dtd_10192020_ref_doc.pdf
  3. NASA, SLS-SPEC-159 Revision 1, "Cross-Program DesignSpecification for Natural Environments (DSNE) Oct. 2021: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/20210024522/downloads/SLS-SPEC-159%20Cross-Program%20Design%20Specification%20for%20Natural%20Environments%20(DSNE)%20REVISION%20I.pdf
  4. Spudis, P. D.; Stockstill, K. R.; Ockels, W. J.; Kruijff, M.(1995). "Physical Environment of the Lunar South Pole fromClementine Data: Implications for Future Exploration of theMoon". Abstracts of the Lunar and PlanetaryScience Conferencehttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/234387781_Physical_Environment_of_the_Lunar_South_Pole_from_Clementine_Data_Implications_for_Future_Exploration_of_the_Moon
  5. Wei, Guangfei; Li, Xiongyao; Wang, Shijie (2016)."Thermal behavior of regolith at cold traps on theMoon's south pole: Revealed by Chang'E-2 microwaveradiometer data". Planetary and SpaceScience. 122: 101 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292072814_Thermal_behavior_of_regolith_at_cold_traps_on_the_moon's_south_pole_Revealed_by_Chang'E-2_microwave_radiometer_data
  6. Watson, Kenneth; Murray, Bruce C.; Brown, Harrison(1961). "The behavior of volatiles on the lunarsurface" https://authors.library.caltech.edu/51509/1/jgr1929.pdf
  7. Hastings, W.C., “Cryogenic Temperature Effects on theMechanical Properties of Carbon, Aramid, and PBO Fibers,”University of Mississippi, (2008) https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2227&context=td
  8. Chen, Duo, Juanzi Li, Yuhuan Yuan, Chang Gao, Yunguang Cui,Shichao Li, Xin Liu, Hongyu Wang, Cong Peng, and Zhanjun Wu. 2021."A Review of the Polymer for Cryogenic Application: Methods,Mechanisms and Perspectives" Polymers 13, no.3: 320. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13030320
  9. Gates, Thomas, Karen Whitley, Ray Grenoble, and TozerBandorawalla. "Thermal/mechanical durability of polymer-matrixcomposites in cryogenic environments." In 44thAIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and MaterialsConference, p. 1600. (2003) https://arc.aiaa.org/doi/10.2514/6.2003-1600
  10. Ruby, J. D., and Rock Island Arsenal, IL. "Evaluation ofElastomers For Potential Use At Cryogenic Temperatures."(1963). https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/tr/ADA307540
  11. Weitzel, D. H., R. F. Robbins, P. R. Ludtke, and National BureauOf Standards, Boulder CO. Elastomeric Seals and Materialsat Cryogenic Temperatures. Part 2. (1965) https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/AD0485555
  12. Graf, Neil A., Gregory F. Schieleit, and Robert Biggs."Adhesive bonding characterization of composite joints forcryogenic usage."(2000). https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/20010020380/downloads/20010020380.pdf
  13. Graziosi, David, Jim Stein, Amy Ross and Joseph Kosmo.“2001-01-2163 Phase VI Advanced EVA Glove Development andCertification for the International Space Station.”(2001) https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/2001-01-2163-Phase-VI-Advanced-EVA-Glove-and-for-Graziosi-Stein/16d3a1976698a4cb800b67016f4d3ed81cd38d26
  14. Macleod, Shawn R., Jacobs, Shane E., Doherty, Matthew T., Ripps,Travis B. "Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment Development for anExploration EVA Glove" (2014) https://ttu-ir.tdl.org/handle/2346/59682
  15. “Lunar Regolith Simulant Materials: Recommendations forStandardization, Production, and Usage.” NASA TechnicalPublication 2006-214605: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/20060051776/downloads/20060051776.pdf
  16. Selecting an Adhesive for Cryogenic Environments.MasterBond. https://www.masterbond.com/q-and-a/selecting-adhesive-cryogenic-environments

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