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Heterogeneous Porous Media for Thermal Transport Mitigation in Hypersonics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9550-16-0043
Agency Tracking Number: F161-005-0267
Amount: $149,993.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF161-005
Solicitation Number: 2016.1
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-09-30
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-06-29
Small Business Information
216 West Cherry Ave., Bldg. 2
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
United States
DUNS: 932699192
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 (928) 779-5000
Business Contact
Phone: (928) 779-5000
Research Institution

ABSTRACT: S. D. Miller and Associates (SDMA) research team has led the field of research in Opacified Fibrous Insulation (OFI) since 2003.Early OFI prototypes equaled the thermal performance of Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) with MultiLayer Insulation (MLI) using gold-coated shields and vastly reduced cost and maintenance of TPS for hypersonic vehicles.In 2015, OFI prototypes demonstrated improved efficiency in Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) TPS, and became part of the preferred HIAD TPS.Research is proposed on specific problems hindering further improvement and commercialization of OFI, including (1) improved consistency and (2) better correlation between theory and experiment.Improvements in these two areas support development of a model that predicts performance from first principles, allowing OFI to be optimized for TPS on future Air Force and other DoD missions, as well as other aerospace and industrial applications.To meet these objectives, SDMAs researchers will team with experts in nonwoven production to demonstrate improved manufacturing concepts, and experts in radiative heat transfer to verify theoretical performance correlates with experimental data.Phase I is expected to confirm that sample consistency improves using scalable manufacturing processes, and that data from more consistent samples provide better agreement with the model based on first principles.; BENEFIT: SDMA will commercialize Opacified Fibrous Insulation (OFI) in fabricated shapes, and supporting engineering services.Initial customers will include aerospace companies that are developing hypersonic systems.Since saving a pound on the Thermal Protection System (TPS) saves a second pound in the airframe, and these savings combined save a third pound of fuel, the total savings on one vehicle studied was 453 lbs., equivalent to $4,530,000 at current launch costs of $10,000/pound.Specialized insulations will also be developed for other markets and applications.Potential transition partners include the Air Force, DARPA, NASA and the U.S. industrial sector for hypersonic application. Alternative aeronautics markets may also be possible for air-breathing applications, industrial applications such as plasma processing and micro-fabrication techniques.

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

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