NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Chemical and Propellantless Propulsion for Deep Space
PROPOSAL TITLE:UV-curable Hybrid Nanocomposite Coating to Protect Tether Polymer Materials

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Luminit, LLC
20600 Gramercy Place, Suite 203
Torrance, CA 90501-1821
(310) 320-1066

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kevin   Yu
20600 Gramercy Place, Suite 203
Torrance, CA  90501-1821
(310) 320-1066

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
To address the NASA need for coatings to protect and strengthen tether materials for Momentum-exchange Electrodynamic Reboost (MXER) technology, Luminit, LLC, proposes to develop a new UV-curable Hybrid Nanocomposite (UVHN) tether coating material matrix, based on hybrid sol-gel technology. Its principal innovations include (1) synthesis of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles by a sol-gel method to form a coating protecting against ultraviolet (UV) radiation and atomic oxygen (AO); and (2) novel use of 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane as a coupling agent that strengthens the material matrix, and promotes adhesion to tether materials. These innovations enable the UVHN to meet the NASA requirements for coatings that protect existing tether technology from the effects of UV and AO in the LEO environment, with improved tensile strength and longevity of existing tether. In Phase I Luminit will develop a glass-like polymer hybrid sol-gel UVHN protective coating for NASA's tether polymer materials, and demonstrate that it is resistant to UV and AO. In Phase II we will scale up and optimize the UVHN process to cost efficiently produce UVHN material matrices for more comprehensive UV and AO resistance tests. The resulting product will make MXER propellantless propulsion more reliable in raising and maintaining spacecraft orbits.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Potential NASA applications of the UVHN coating material matrix will not be limited to protecting polymeric tether materials from the effects of ultraviolet radiation and atomic oxygen. It has direct application as a transparent abrasion-resistant coating for spacecraft and aircraft windows and many other uses that require durable exterior coats with good adhesion properties and long lifetimes and can resist degradation due to solvents, electromagnetic radiation, and scratching. The UVHN material can be incorporated into the transparent conductive coating for aircraft canopies and landing gear.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The UVHN coating material matrix has significant commercial applications, including transparent abrasion-resistant coatings in the fabrication of silica micro-optics, including microlens arrays, diffractive optics, binary optics, diffusers, dye immobilization in laser rods, and protective coatings. In the field of biomedical optics, sol-gel-based diffractive elements and Fresnel lenses are essential elements of endoscopes and microlasers. Passive sol-gel-based micro-optical elements can also be used in integrated optical devices and optical components. In addition, in high-power laser sources, sol-gel-based silica would be ideal because it has high temperature and laser damage thresholds. There is a very high probability for commercialization in applications such as sport goggles, auto windshields, windows in public transit vehicles, armored cars for law enforcement and VIP protection, and solar panels.

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.

Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Optical & Photonic Materials
Radiation Shielding Materials

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19