Multifunctional Thermal Protection System for Future Space Transportation Vehicles, Phase II

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$0.00
Award Year:
2003
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NAS1-03052
Agency Tracking Number:
010052
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Ultramet
12173 Montague Street, Pacoima, CA, 91331
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Jerry Brockmeyer
Director of Engineering
(818) 899-0236
jerry.brockmeyer@ultramet.com
Business Contact:
Craig Ward
Engineering Administrative Mgr
(818) 899-0236
craig.ward@ultramet.com
Research Institution:
Southern Research Institute
Scott C Brown
757 Tom Martin Drive
Birmingham, AL, 35211
(205) 581-2392
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Current thermal protection systems (TPS) severely limit the flight path and the mission flexibility of space transportation vehicles, including reusable launch vehicles. TPS are essential, but add parasitic weight rather than providing both structural functionality and thermal protection. Multifunctional TPS with combined thermal-structural capability would be highly desirable. TPS are also subject to limited life due to rapid failure or need for replacement if the outer surface suffers damage. The overall objective of this project is to overcome the limitations of current TPS and enhance capabilities over developmental systems by demonstrating an innovative, multifunctional and self-healing TPS. This unique new system provides an unequaled combination of performance, large cross-section fabricability and low fabrication cost. Phase I emphasized baseline application definition and process development for the innovative carbon aerogel-filled, carbon foam core structure. A new lower-cost, larger-scale aerogel infiltration method was developed and demonstrated. This reduces processing time by >50% and no longer requires equipment-intensive, costly and scaleup-inhibiting supercritical drying of the aerogel. In a parallel, but secondary, effort, development was started of enhanced and potentially self-healing carbon/carbon facesheets. In Phase II, the technology will be scaled up and demonstrated for a selected application.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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