Lightweight Non-Compacting Aerogel Insulation for Cryotanks

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CB23C
Agency Tracking Number: 084907
Amount: $599,998.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: X7.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
30 Forbes Road, Bldg. B, Northborough, MA, 01532-2501
DUNS: 012924069
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Wendell Rhine
 Principal Investigator
 (508) 466-3130
Business Contact
 Kevin Schmidt
Title: VP, Operations
Phone: (508) 691-1161
Research Institution
The exploration of space requires that new technologies be developed for long-term cryogenic propellant storage applications in-space, on the lunar surface, and on the Earth. The Altair (Lunar Lander) ascent stage requires LO2 and LCH4 storage durations of up to 14 days in LEO and up to an additional 210 days on the lunar surface. Long term storage (224 days) of LO2 cryogenic propellant on the lunar surface is required to support space power systems, spaceports, spacesuits, lunar habitation systems, robotics, and in situ propellant systems. Long term storage of LO2/ LH2/ LCH4 cryogenic propellants on the surface of the Earth with minimal propellant loss is required to support launch site ground operations. This SBIR Phase II proposal focuses on improving the strength of aerogels which are the best cryogenic insulation materials known and proposes to develop non-compacting aerogel insulation that could be used to insulate cryotanks on launch vehicles and Earth, and in-space cryogenic fuel storage tanks. During the Phase II effort, we will optimize and scale-up preparation of the crosslinked hybrid aerogels developed during the Phase I effort. The best aerogels will be thoroughly characterized and tested in a relevant environment to attain a TRL of 5.

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

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