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Flexible Multi-Layer Emissivity Control Coatings (F-MECCs) for Spacecraft Thermal Regulation

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-23-P-A005
Agency Tracking Number: F22B-T003-0031
Amount: $149,961.01
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: SF22B-T003
Solicitation Number: 22.B
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2023
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-12-13
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-03-19
Small Business Information
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1111
United States
DUNS: 073800062
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Joseph Andrade
 (978) 689-0003
Business Contact
 William Marinelli
Phone: (978) 738-8226
Research Institution
 University of Wisconsin
 Brenda Egan
21 N. Park St, STE 6401
Madison, WI 53715-1218
United States

 (608) 262-3822
 Nonprofit College or University

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UWisc) will develop a flexible multi-layer emissivity control coating (F-MECC) for passive thermal regulation of various spacecraft. The new coatings integrate key functionalities of PSI’s MECC design (high emissivity contrast and tunable control temperature) with the structural benefits afforded by a polymer support (high flexibility and strength per unit weight). To this end, PSI will produce a novel variable emissivity control coating based on thermochromic VO2 by incorporating a flexible and robust polymer support and rigid Si substrate removal step into its established MECC fabrication flow. In Phase I, PSI and UWisc will develop a prototype F-MECC structure by exploring the trade-offs between mechanical flexibility, solar absorptivity, and thermal robustness of the polymer while maintaining high emissivity contrast of the active thermochromic layers. In Phase II, the team will refine and scale up an ideal F-MECC design, perform more rigorous mechanical and thermal characterization, and coordinate space qualification testing under orbital conditions. The overall outcome of the proposed STTR program is a flexible emissivity control coating for passive thermal regulation near room temperature that is easily integrated into existing spacecraft and opens up possibilities for new architectures.

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

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