NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 X2.06-7753
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Thermal Materials and Management
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lightweight Ultrahigh Temperature CMC-Encased C/C Structure for Reentry and Hypersonic Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Ultramet
12173 Montague St
Pacoima, CA 91331-2210
(818)899-0236

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Gautham Ramachandran
gautham.ramachandran@ultramet.com
Ultramet
Pacoima, CA 91331-2210
(818)899-0236

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
The reentry spacecraft and hypersonic cruisers of the future will require advanced lightweight thermal protection systems that can provide the dual functionality of thermal protection and structural capability. In the proposed project, Ultramet will fabricate a lightweight, reusable, highly efficient, multifunctional, structurally robust thermal protection system consisting of a high thermal conductivity, porous carbon/carbon body encased in a high temperature capable (up to 4500oF) ceramic matrix composite skin. The proposed materials will not only be able to withstand the aggressive environments that are encountered during reentry or that are common to hypersonic vehicles, but they will also have the potential for structural capability when integrated efficiently with the main body of the aircraft. Through use of a cost-effective variant of Ultramet's innovative melt infiltration processing, the complexity and time required to fabricate the proposed thermal protection system elements to net shape will be reduced.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Completion of this project will provide a fundamental feasibility demonstration of the ability of the proposed thermal protection system structure to withstand aggressive thermal environments and the cost-effectiveness of the proposed processing technique in fabricating net-shape structural components. Overall project success will allow development of an innovative thermal protection system concept in which the system is able to withstand required thermal and shock loads while contributing load-bearing capability. The applications of such a system would be limitless to future reusable spacecraft such as the Space Operations Vehicle, air-breathing hypersonic cruisers, and rocket and aircraft propulsion components. The materials system developed during this project could also be effectively applied to leading edge structures for these applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
In general, the concept will be applicable to a wide range of military and commercial applications that require highly refractory materials with effective control of thermal mass.