Novel Lightweight, Low-Cost, Aerogel Materials as Insulation for Cryogenic Tanks

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NAS10-03013
Agency Tracking Number: 023237
Amount: $69,900.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
184 Cedar Hill St., Marlborough, MA, 01752
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Redouane Begag
 Principal Investigator
 (508) 481-5058
Business Contact
 Don Young
Title: CEO, President
Phone: (508) 481-5058
Research Institution
Future spacecrafts require greatly improved and lighter reusable cryogenic tank insulation and TPS to achieve the ambitious goal of reducing the cost of delivering a payload to orbit by an order of magnitude. Recently, Aspen Aerogels developed a new class of flexible aerogels called Ultra-lightweight &hard cellulose aerogel. The new aerogel is 100 times stronger and harder than regular aerogel and has density and thermal characteristics as silica aerogel (low thermal conductivity 12.8 mW/m.K and low density 0.04 - 0.09 g/cc). The originality of this concept is based on the low cost fabrication, the lightweight, the flexibility, and the high thermal performance of the innovative material. Moreover, our new high temperature insulation version based carbide aerogels demonstrated unparalleled high temperature oxidation resistance under oxyacelylene torch test. Aspen proposes to use these two classes of aerogels in a multilayered sandwich configuration to insulate cryogenic tanks and protect the spacecraft structure. We believe that the application of the proposed integrated TPS/Cryogenic insulation concept will satisfy all requirements to be used in cryogenic tanks and will greatly reduce the weight of the propellant tanks and the boil-off rate of the propellant (thus reduce the size of the tanks).

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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