NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- B3.06-8740 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 023259 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Radiation Shielding to Protect Humans
PROPOSAL TITLE: Microporous Carbon for Radiation Shielding and Hydrogen Storage

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Advanced Fuel Research Inc
87 Church Street
East Hartford , CT   06108 - 3728
(860 ) 528 - 9806

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Eric Rubenstein
87 Church Street
East Hartford , CT   06108 - 3728
(860 ) 528 - 9806

Advanced Fuel Research, Inc. (AFR) has developed a technology to provide radiation shielding, while simultaneously increasing the capacity of hydrogen storage tanks. This technology uses carbon foam filler with a complex pore structure (?microporosity?). The tank with the filler has, counter-intuitively, more capacity to store hydrogen than an otherwise empty tank. This technology increases hydrogen storage capacity for existing size tanks; or alternatively, for reduced tank size/pressure, the capacity is preserved. It has the most advantage with lower pressure storage containers. AFR proposes that this existing commercial carbon foam manufacturing/processing method can be used to identify and develop an important new aerospace structural/multifunctional material, with structural strength and important radiation shielding and hydrogen fuel storage properties. The objective of the Phase I program is to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of the proposed method. In Phase I, a number of carbon materials will be synthesized and tested to prove and illustrate the concept and efficacy. In Phase II, an extensive parametric study will be performed with the purpose of optimizing storage and shielding performance. A prototype hydrogen storage/radiation shield system will also be designed, constructed, and tested.

Results of the proposed research will provide advantages for many aerospace applications, including aircraft, satellites, spaced-based defense systems, and shielding sensitive military and astronomical detectors from radiation damage/background. Additionally, the advances in hydrogen storage technology, independent of the radiation shielding properties, will benefit numerous industries. In the medium term, we will apply our proprietary technology to additional gas storage systems, with applications in correspondingly more industries and markets.

The provision of radiation shielding for a Mars mission or a Lunar base from the hazards of space radiation (galactic cosmic rays, and solar energetic particles) is a critical technology since crew safety depends upon it and present estimates of deep-space radiation equivalent dose exceed present administrative limits applicable for low Earth orbit (LEO).

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10