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Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding (VSRS)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9453-13-C-0102
Agency Tracking Number: F121-062-0588
Amount: $749,993.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF121-062
Solicitation Number: 2012.1
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-09-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2015-12-18
Small Business Information
11711 N. Creek Pkwy S., Suite D113
Bothell, WA 98011-8804
United States
DUNS: 000000000
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jonathan Wrobel
 Aerospace Engineer
 (425) 486-0100
Business Contact
 Robert Hoyt
Title: CEO&Chief Scientist
Phone: (425) 486-0100
Research Institution

ABSTRACT: The Phase I Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding (VSRS) Effort has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of 3D printing multifunctional spacecraft structures with integral multi-layer, multi-material, minimum-mass radiation shielding. We developed novel space-compatible materials to enable 3D printing with combinations of low-Z and high-Z materials, developed advanced FDM techniques to enable 3D printing with high-performance polymers and metal-entrained polymers. We demonstrated fabrication of components such as avionics covers that have integral graded-Z radiation shielding. Simulation with the GEANT4 3D model as well as irradiation testing indicate that VSRS provides shielding for with better than 3X the stopping power of aluminum shielding. We propose a Phase II effort to mature and qualify the VSRS technology to a flight-ready level for to enable its infusion into DoD space systems. We will integrate the high-Z materials developed in the Phase I with additional high-strength and conductive materials and develop a process for rapidly and affordably designing, analyzing, and fabricating multifunctional VSRS components that combine minimum-mass radiation shielding customized for the operational environment along with structural strength, EMI shielding, heat dissipation, electrical conduction, thermal insulation, and M/MOD protection. We will fabricate, qualify, and irradiation test prototype VSRS components including conformal electronics covers and avionics enclosures. BENEFIT: The Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding (VSRS) effort will develop materials and processes for using additive manufacturing (3D printing) with multiple materials to create spacecraft structures that integrate multifunctional capabilities, including graded-Z radiation shielding, EMI shielding, thermal shunts, multi-layer thermal insulation, and/or M/MOD protection. VSRS will enable responsive, low-cost fabrication of spacecraft components such as conformal covers, avionics enclosures, honeycomb panels, and even spacecraft 'exoskeletons' with integral radiation shielding. VSRS will reduce the mass required for radiation shielding compared to conventional methods such as aluminum covers, and provide a responsive, low-cost means for improving the reliability of COTS and non-rad-hard components in space systems.

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

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