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Processing of Tough, Fracture and Puncture Resistant Thin Films for Space Deployable Reflectors
Title: Aerospace Engineer
Phone: (256) 971-7027
Title: Corp. V.P. & Gen. Mgr.
Phone: (256) 971-7000
SRS has developed a thin film processing technique that will enable a host ofpolymer solutions to be fabricated into precision large-scale membranes for spaceapplications. The innovation presented for demonstration in the proposal is a polymercasting and curing technique that is based upon a transient heat flow air kniferesulting in the curing of films under uniform conditions without the use of largecuring ovens and costly high temperature substrates. This process is amenable tothermoplastic and thermosetting thin films or a combination of the two resulting ina laminated film which demonstrates the characteristics of a high strength tearresistant film.SRS will use the casting and curing technology of the transient heat flow air knifedeveloped under this SBIR to enable new SRS business lines in the area of very largeaperture concentrators, as well as make existent product lines (i.e., polyimide flatpanel solar troughs) more efficient and cost effective. The technology demonstratedhere will enable the production of larger size (>10m) without regard to mandrel, oven,and substrate size. SRS is currently involved (via the Dual Use Science andTechnology (DUS&T) Electromagnetic Radiation Control Experiment (EMRCE)) with Boeing,Thiokol, the Air Force Research Lab, and NASA in developing a prototype 10minflatable thin film concentrator with accuracy enough to meet RF and solar powergeneration requirements. Another promising market for large solar concentratorswould be to power Satellite Transfer Vehicles used to rescue satellites boosted intowrong orbits or to collect space debris.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *