Development of a Liner-less Storage Tank for the Space Based Laser System
Small Business Information
Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
The Millennium Centre, R.R. 1, Box 100B, Triadelphia, WV, 26059
Abstract"Innovative materials and manufacturing processes are required to meet the performance and cost objectives of current space-based NMD and TMD system programs. One example is the use of polymer matrix composites for the reactant storage tanks aboard theLaser Payload Element (LPE) of the Space Based Laser (SBL) satellite. Currently evolving designs include aluminum clad polymer matrix composite tanks with metallic liners. Materials are needed that offer comparable performance to polymer matrix compositetanks in strength and stiffness, but with superior operating temperature capability and without the drawbacks of outgassing, metallic liners or exterior cladding for micro-meteorite protection. Touchstone Research Laboratory has developed a uniquematerial form and manufacturing method that provides an innovative and affordable solution to the challenges given above. The innovation consists of an aluminum matrix composite (AMC) with continuous, high strength alumina fibers in "prepreg" form that isconsolidated using a patented brazing process. This technology has broad applications within space-based satellite systems, providing stiffened structures for Acquisition, Tracking, Pointing (ATP) subsystems and stable platforms for optics and beamcontrol. It also provides a liner-less alternative to current PMC tank design. Other applications of interest for space based systems include interstages and farings. Touchstone's Brazed AMC tec
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