NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 X2.06-7680
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Thermal Materials and Management
PROPOSAL TITLE: Si-O-C Aerogels for TPS of Reentry Vehicles

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ASPEN AEROGELS, INC.
30 Forbes Road, Building B
Northborough, MA 01532-2501
(508)691-1111

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dmitry Fomitchev
dfomitchev@aerogel.com
30 Forbes Road, Building B
Northborough, MA 01532-2105
(508)481-5058

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The objectives of this proposal are to identify and develop breakthrough technologies that have potential to provide increased scientific return at lower cost, and to enable missions and capabilities beyond current horizons. Advanced thermal materials are needed as thermal protection system (TPS) materials for reentry. Aspen Aerogels Inc. proposes a particularly innovative lightweight aerogel material !V silicon oxycarbide aerogel that will advance the state-of-the-art for thermal protection. The material will have maximal operational temperature in air on the order of 1200 ?aC, will have low thermal conductivity at high temperatures and low density. Thermal stability of the material will be tested at conditions simulating the conditions of Earth reentry.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The material developed during this Phase I effort will have a variety of applications in the aerospace industry, and within NASA specifically. Aerogels are the most efficient thermal insulation known, and NASA has several applications that would benefit from the low density and thermal conductivity of aerogels. Among these are replacements for the flexible ceramic blankets, and low-temperature ceramic tiles on the Space Shuttle, as well as replacements for fibrous insulation within the metallic TPS (ARMOR concept). Composites developed on this program will be utilized in the heatshield designs for the spacecrafts undergoing aerocapture or aerobraking maneuvers

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The thermally insulating composites developed during this program will have numerous military and commercial applications. They could offer a replacement for the insulating tile array used in the exhaust washed regions of advanced military aircrafts. The product will have a commercial impact in areas such as: airliner fuselages, thermal insulation for ovens, insulation for hot exhaust ducts, automotive firewall insulation, appliance insulation, and boilers and incinerators.