A Tailorable Structural Composite for GCR and Albedo Neutron Protection on the Lunar Surface

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2009
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX09CF44P
Agency Tracking Number:
084327
Solicitation Year:
2008
Solicitation Topic Code:
X4.02
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL, 35811-1558
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
799114574
Principal Investigator:
Elizabeth Schofield
Principal Investigator
(256) 851-7653
eschofield@plasmapros.com
Business Contact:
Timothy McKechnie
President
(256) 851-7653
timmck@plasmapros.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
A tailorable structural composite that will provide protection from the lunar radiation environment, including GCR and albedo neutrons will be developed. This composite will have increased structural strength combined with more efficient shielding of GCR and albedo neutrons when compared to previously developed composites, leading to increased TRL level. Boron coated fabric will be integrated precisely where it will have the most positive effect on shield characteristics (according to simulations and testing), providing an efficient and highly tailorable composite. A highly innovative processing method, Low Pressure Vacuum Plasma Spray (LPVPS), will be demonstrated during this effort to deposit a layer of boron containing natural abundance of 10B onto carbon fabric from the vapor phase. Benefits of this processing method include significantly higher deposition rates and through-put than PVD/CVD, significantly larger deposition footprint, and excellent quality control due to the exact nature of the deposition process. Composite strength will be increased by using carbon fabric as a carrier for the 10B, with bonding between the coated fabric and epoxy matrix enhanced through surface treatments. Thermal protection system incorporation for protection against temperature extremes and micrometeorite impact will be investigated during Phase 2.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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