NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 B1.03-9074
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Materials Science for In-Space Fabrication and Radiation Protection
PROPOSAL TITLE: Intercalated and Hydrogenated Carbon Nanofibers for Multifunctional Radiation Protection

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Applied Sciences Inc
141 W. Xenia Ave. PO Box 579
Cedarville, OH 45314-0579
(937)766-2020

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael Matuszewski
matuszewski@apsci.com
141 W. Xenia Ave. PO Box 579
Cedarville, OH 45314-0579
(937)766-2020

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Improvements in radiation shielding materials are needed to support NASA's human and robotic exploration programs. Shielding for both electromagnetic radiation (gamma and x-rays) and particles (protons and neutrons) are critical. Ideally, the shielding should be part of a multifunctional, structural composite material to maximize mission payload. To meet this need, ASI will develop structural composites enhanced by novel carbon nanofiber (CNF) materials. One version is CNF whose hollow cores are filled with heavy elements for electromagnetic by a novel intercalation technique. Another is hydrogenated CNF for particle shielding. The enhanced CNF will then be included in the resin of a standard carbon fiber reinforced structural composites where they will add radiation blocking functionality and enhance strength properties. In addition, the intercalated nanofibers will be compounded into polyethylene, a known proton absorber, to create a shielding material that simultaneously blocks all relevant forms of radiation. Materials will be tested for gamma, x-ray, and proton shielding, as well as multifunctional structural and electrical properties.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The proposed technology would have application as multifunctional shielding-structural components in a variety of NASA missions requiring radiation hardening for electronics or radiation protection for humans. The Phase I team has an existing relationship with Northrop Grumman who has expressed an interest in this technology and possible in-house research efforts. During the course of the Phase I effort, the Phase I team will solidify a working relationship with Northrop Grumman, and work to define a specific NASA platform or program in which to demonstrate the new technology.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Applications in the commercial aerospace sector are comparable to those for NASA, though with a greater focus on radiation hardening for electronics.