Durable, All Weather, Multifunctional, and Modular Light Weight Structure/TPS
Small Business Information
45 Diamond Hill Rd, Hampton, VA, 23666
AbstractThe Air Force "Fully Reusable Access to Space Technology" (FAST) program, has dictated that the operation of a reusable launch system will be "airplane-like" and that maintenance, cost and operational restrictions of state-of-the-art TPS systems may not be acceptable. To meet Air Force requirements, a structural/TPS system must be robust, durable, all-weather, and able to be turned around quickly. The purpose of this research is to advance TPS concepts perceived to meet these criteria better that traditional concepts like Space Shuttle tile and blanket. A structure/TPS system is introduced that meets these criteria, while at the same time being extremely weight competitive, if not lower weight than state-of-the-art structure/TPS systems. The proposed structure/TPS has potential to significantly advance the state-of-the-art for TPS design. The system is modular, with multifunctional non-parasitic attachments, where TPS sections can be quickly removed, inspected, and replaced with little maintenance between flights. If thermal requirements change, it can be easily retrofitted to accommodate different heating profiles while using the same backside structure. Under the proposed effort, several structure/TPS panels will be designed, analyzed in great detail, fabricated and tested using a building block approach with the goal of raising the structure/TPS TRL to test flight readiness.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.