Multifunctional Aerogel Thermal Protection Systems for Hypersonic Vehicles
Small Business Information
Aspen Aerogels, Inc.
30 Forbes Road, Bldg B, Northborough, MA, 01532-2501
AbstractThe push to hypersonic flight regimes requires novel materials that are lightweight as well as thermally and structurally efficient for airframes and thermal protection systems to increase safety and decrease system weight. The materials required must maintain their performance throughout the lifetime of the system, without degrading over time or with use. A critical component of the system is the thermal protection system required to maintain internal temperatures compatible with the airframe. Currently available thermal protection system (TPS) designs and materials are not capable of providing the level of protection required by NASA without a significant increase in TPS weight and volume. In addition, current concepts for insulation utilize approaches that add nothing to the structural efficiency of the vehicle, or are made from materials that add unnecessary weight to achieve the required thermal performance. Therefore, NASA needs new TPS concepts for hypersonic vehicles that will provide the highest level of thermal performance and can also be structurally integrated with the airframe rather than just add parasitic weight. For this SBIR effort, Aspen proposes to develop a multifunctional aerogel that could be used in structurally integrated thermal protection systems to improve vehicle safety and decrease system weight.
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