NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 X7.04-8963
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Aeroassist Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Flexible Transpiration Cooled Thermal Protection System for Inflatable Atmospheric Capture & Entry Systems

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Andrews Space, Inc.
505 5th Ave South, Suite 300
Seattle ,WA 98104 - 3894
(206) 342 - 9934

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dana G Andrews
dandrews@andrews-space.com
505 5th Ave South, Suite 300
Seattle, WA  98104 -3894
(206) 438 - 0630

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Andrews Space, Inc. proposes an innovative transpiration cooled aerobrake TPS design that is thermally protective, structurally flexible, and lightweight. This innovative design will also meet launch volume constraints and satisfy terminal aerobraking requirements. The approach will focus on transpiration cooling of a flexible material and will consider ablative and insulative technologies as key features of the TPS design. The application of aerobraking to reduce velocity for planetary capture and landing has long been assumed for use on Mars missions and has been suggested for Earth reentry. The major hurdle to inflatable aerobrakes becoming reality is the development of a lightweight and structurally flexible Thermal Protection System (TPS). By combining well understood insulative and ablative TPS with an innovative flexible transpiration cooled TPS, a realizable inflatable aerobrake system can be developed.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The successful completion of the anticipated Phase II materials test will significantly reduce the perceived technical risks associated with flexible TPS for inflatable aerobrake development. This success will improve the likelihood of securing government or private funding for the development of a fully operational ballute system to address the needs of NASA and commercial markets.

Once inflatable aerobrake technologies are well-understood and an integrated system flight-tested, such an aerobrake could become the design of choice for further use on Earth and Mars missions, maintaining the best combination of design margin, usage flexibility, weight, and cost. Single-use aerobrakes can be used for return of Space Station cargo modules to the Earth's surface as well as for crew return. They can be used for the deceleration of payloads to Mars and other planetary surfaces. Aerobrakes can also be used for Earth and other planetary orbit capture, with potential multi-use capability in those modes.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Outside of NASA, reliable and capable aerocapture will be needed for commercial cargo return to Earth or for hardware return for refurbishment. As on-orbit business opportunities grow, so will the need for recovery and return capability. An additional need is for return of end-of-life spacecraft and launch vehicle stages from LEO, allowing reuse of stage or spacecraft hardware.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Ablatives
Aerobrake
Airframe
Ceramics
Control Instrumentation
Controls-Structures Interaction (CSI)
Cooling
Inflatable
Kinematic-Deployable
Metallics
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Thermal Insulating Materials
Thermodynamic Conversion


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12