Nanostructured Aerogel Systems for Cold Volume Enclosures
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Small Business Information
Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
184 Cedar Hill St., Marlborough, MA, 01752
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractSpacecraft design parameters limit and trade off volume, mass, power usage, and cost to maximize system performance. One example of this necessary tradeoff is the design of the rectangular cold volume enclosures. The solution will have to be thin walled to maximize usable volume, an excellent thermal insulator, low density, and low cost. An effective and lightweight approach has been developed using Aspen Aerogels, Inc?s nanostructured aerogel materials. AAI?s patent pending, composite aerogels are a new class of extremely low density materials that offer highly unusual design, mechanical and thermal properties. The combination of nanometer scale pore structure and very low density appear be ideally suited for thermal insulation in weight sensitive applications such as spacecraft. The flexibility of the materials will enable enclosure designers to minimize and in some cases eliminate seam leakage. The resulting AAI aerogel product would have a lower density, cost, thermal conductivity, and therefore energy usage compared to current SOA solutions. Other design possibilities are discussed that may further minimize the energy usage of the cold volume enclosure.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.