Thermal Protection Systems for Space Applications

Award Information
Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
The Millennium Centre, R.R. 1, Box 100B, Triadelphia, WV, 26059
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Rick Lucas
Program Manager
(304) 547-5800
Business Contact:
Brian Joseph
(304) 547-5800
Research Institution:
Clemson University
Richard V Gregory
161 Sirrine Hall, Box 340971
Clemson, NC, 29634
(864) 656-5961
Nonprofit college or university
The Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) ballistic missile defense system is made up of a variety of components including land- and sea-based missiles, satellites, and space-based laser, all part of the Theater and National Missiles Defense Systems. Reusablehypersonic and reentry vehicles are being designed to meet Defense Department requirements. Two specific programs, the MDA's Space Based Laser (SBL) and the Space Maneuver Vehicle (SMV) program have requirements for innovative Thermal Protection Systems(TPS). Touchstone Research Laboratory has developed two novel materials. One can be used as a stand alone TPS, Carbon Foam (CFOAM[R]) for environments between 1000 and 3000 degrees F. When combined with the second material, Brazed Aluminum Matrix Composite(BAMC[TM]), it provides a sandwich structure combining a structural thermal insulator, carbon foam, (with compressive strength of up to 4000 psi) with a high-specific strength metal matrix composite (BAMC[TM]), which maintains its strength even above 750degrees F. The innovative lightweight Carbon Foam (CFOAM) and Brazed Aluminum Matrix Composite (BAMC) research will provide a new generation lightweight thermally efficient and affordable Thermal Protection System (TPS). It will protect sensitive spacecraft opticaland structural components enabling the thermal subsystems to minimize power consumption. A new TPS system can potentially increase payload fraction as well as provide additional mass margin by increasing propellant mass fraction. Such a system would opendesign space and reduce the risk of future mass growth. The technology will be directly applicable to NASA's on-going and future launch vehicle and space platform programs. It will be of great benefit to the commercial satellite industry.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo

Department of Agriculture logo

Department of Commerce logo

Department of Defense logo

Department of Education logo

Department of Energy logo

Department of Health and Human Services logo

Department of Homeland Security logo

Department of Transportation logo

Enviromental Protection Agency logo

National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo

National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government