Fabrication of Structural MLI Using 3D Printing Technologies

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Amount:
$98,928.00
Program:
SBIR
Contract:
W31P4Q-09-C-0147
Solitcitation Year:
2008
Solicitation Number:
2008.2
Branch:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award Year:
2009
Phase:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
08SB2-0214
Solicitation Topic Code:
SB082-008
Small Business Information
Tethers Unlimited, Inc.
11711 N. Creek Pkwy S., Suite D113, Bothell, WA, 98011
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
877425330
Principal Investigator
 Robert Hoyt
 CEO & Chief Scientist
 (425) 486-0100
 hoyt@tethers.com
Business Contact
 Robert Hoyt
Title: CEO & Chief Scientist
Phone: (425) 486-0100
Email: hoyt@tethers.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
We propose to utilize a combination of 3D printing technology and high-strength, temperature-resistant composites to create structural components for spacecraft that incorporate an integral thermal barrier. The use of 3D printing technology will enable rapid fabrication of complex structural components to enable responsive configuration and production of satellites to meet time-critical tactical and strategic needs, and it will enable a multi-layer radiative barrier to be integrated conformally within a structure that has both a durable outer shell and a rigid internal structure. By bonding temperature-resistant composites such as carbon fiber to the exterior and interior of the structure, a very high strength, durable, and temperature-tolerant structure can be created. In the proposed effort, we will develop concept designs for 3D-printable structures that incorporate radiative thermal barriers. We will then utilize 1-D and 2-D modeling of thermal transfer, thermal expansion and strain, and structural characteristics to select the best balance between weight, complexity, strength, and radiative performance. Additionally, we will evaluate current and upcoming 3D printable materials and processes, and select the process/material combination with the best strength, weight, offgassing, temperature tolerance, and fatigue performance. We will then fabricate a sample and test its performance within a vacuum chamber.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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