Lightweight Non-Compacting Aerogel Insulation for Cryotanks

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX09CE82P
Agency Tracking Number: 084907
Amount: $99,998.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: X7.01
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
30 Forbes Road, Bldg B, Northborough, MA, 01532-2501
DUNS: 012924069
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Wendell Rhine
 Principal Investigator
 (508) 466-3130
 wrhine@aerogel.com
Business Contact
 Kevin Schmidt
Title: Business Official
Phone: (508) 691-1161
Email: contracts@aerogel.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The exploration of space requires that new technologies be developed for long-term cryogenic propellant storage applications in-space, on the lunar surface, and on the Earth. The Altair ascent stage requires LO2 and LCH4 storage durations of up to 14 days in LEO and up to an additional 210 days on the lunar surface. Long term storage (224 days) of LO2 cryogenic propellant on the lunar surface is required to support space power systems, spaceports, spacesuits, lunar habitation systems, robotics, and in situ propellant systems. Long term storage (6 months) of LO2/ LH2/ LCH4 cryogenic propellants in 1-g on the surface of the Earth with minimal propellant loss is required to support launch site ground operations. Thus, this proposed project will focus on improving the strength of aerogels, which are the lightest weight and best cryogenic insulation material known. Improvements in the strength of aerogels would allow these materials to be used as advanced non-compacting insulation materials capable of retaining structural integrity while accommodating large operating temperatures ranging from cryogenic to elevated temperatures. The properties of the aerogels will be tailored by controlling their densities and strengthened by reinforcing them with fibers and with organic polymer crosslinking agents.

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

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