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
AbstractInnovative 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 (PMC) tanks with metallic liners. Materials are needed that offer comparable performance to PMC tanks instrength 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 an innovative method formanufacturing large fiber reinforced aluminum (FRA) components through the use of production processes that are analogous to PMC processes, while maintaining beneficial metal matrix composite (MMC) materials properties. Components fabricated using thistechnique are affordable and sustain strength and stiffness at high temperatures. They are also easy to repair and maintain. 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 beam control. It also provides a liner-less alternative to current PMC tank design.
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