Adaptive Thermal Control Coating for Radiation Hardening of Spacecraft

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF 09-071
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Pixelligent Technologies LLC
387 Technology Drive, Suite 3122, College Park, MD, 20742
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Zhiyun Chen
Vice President of Engineering
(301) 405-9284
Business Contact:
Greg Cooper
(301) 405-9284
Research Institution:
This proposed SBIR Phase I project will develop a dual-use, adaptive thermal control coating for radiation hardening of spacecraft. The specific approach is to develop a nanocomposite having high dielectric constant and high thermal conductivity, low absorptivity, high emissivity, and high electrical conductivity. The nanocomposite will include nanocrystals mixtures dispersed into a binder with one part of the nanocrystal mixture providing high dielectric constant and high thermal stability of the dielectric constant with low residual charge while another part of the mixture provide the high thermal and electrical conductivity, as well as the low absorptivity/emissivity ratio. The de-coupling of the functionalities allows us to optimize the electrical and thermal properties separately. In this project, a candidate nanocrystal material with different sizes, ranging from 50 nm to 200 nm in diameter will be tested. We expect to observe increased dielectric constant with increasing loading of the nanocrystals, more stable dielectric constant over wide temperature range with appropriate structure, and enhanced thermal conductivity. A successful project will produce a coating with a relative dielectric constant of 100, less than 30% variation of the dielectric constant in the required temperature range, and a significantly higher thermal conductivity than the core material. BENEFIT: The proposed thermal control/ESD coating has broad applications. It can protect the spacecraft against severe electron radiation, and can also be used for other applications requiring an ESD protection yet a metallic coating is not sufficient or cost effective, such as airborne remote sensor, radar, communications systems, as well as land-based telescope at high altitude, and oil storage tanks. The technology platform developed here can even be applied to other fields such as high density capacitors and motor-vehicle batteries.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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