Multi-Functional Nano-Composite Materials and Manufacturing Processes for Interceptor

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Department of Defense
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Phase I
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3251 McCall Street, DAYTON, OH, -
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Principal Investigator:
Karl Gruenberg
Senior Staff Engineer
(937) 281-1444
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Tim Brocklehurst
Vice President&General Manager
(937) 281-1444
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The Missile Defense Agency is planning to develop a Next Generation AEGIS Missile (NGAM) as a Ballistic Missile Defense system for deployment in 2020 for defense against threat reentry vehicles. The NGAM system requirements for longer range intercepts and higher velocity leads to the NGAM requirements for lightweight subsystem components including the guidance section (GS) electronic components. The conventional materials solution for missile electronic structures is aluminum for enclosures, a lightweight and relatively low cost approach, and beryllium for heat sinks, a lightweight, but expensive approach. An alternative lighter weight materials solution is continuous Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer ("CFRP") composite materials, which is about 40% lighter than aluminum for equivalent strength and stiffness and weight-competitive with beryllium for innovative designs. However, CFRP composite materials solutions typically must use very expensive, continuous high thermal conductivity pitch-based graphite fibers to provide the thermal management capabilities of aluminum or beryllium and lightweight designs. Thus, lower cost composite materials and manufacturing processes are needed to provide lighter weight and cost- competitive alternatives to aluminum and beryllium for missile avionics boxes and electronic support structures. The proposed solution is lower cost nano-composite materials, carbon nano-particles combined with lower cost discontinuous or continuous graphite fiber CFRP composites, and lower cost out-of-autoclave composite manufacturing processes, which meet both the lightweight as well as lower cost goals for NGAM electronic structure components. The Phase I program will develop and demonstrate lower cost nano-composite materials and manufacturing processes to provide enhanced thermal and electrical properties for lightweight missile electronic subsystem structures. A Phase I option task will generate a materials properties design database to support a follow-on Phase II program to design, fabricate, and demonstrate full-scale prototype missile electronic structure components using the nano-composite materials systems.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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