NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X6.03-8797
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Radiation Shielding Materials
PROPOSAL TITLE: Long Duration Space Shelter Shielding

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Physical Sciences, Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
John Steinbeck
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has developed fiber reinforced ceramic composites for radiation shielding that can be used for external walls in long duration manned space shelters. The wall system comprises a high strength, hollow core composite that can be filled with materials to perform other critical operations such as thermal management. The composite technology enables a modular wall shielding system that exhibits superior radiation resistance to galactic cosmic radiation (GCR), solar particle emission (SPE) and secondary radiation sources produced by the interaction of the primary source with the lunar regolith and shield materials.

This Phase I SBIR will develop and demonstrate radiation shielding composite wall architecture that …

1) Can replace aluminum in lunar shelter structural applications.
2) Can act as a ballistic shield enclosing a multifunctional cavity.
3) Can serve as a multifunctional platform for additional shelter functions such as thermal management.

We will design and fabricate as well as strength and radiation resistance test prototype multifunctional composite structures. We will demonstrate that the composite system components have superior mechanical properties to and at least 20% greater radiation shielding effectiveness than an aluminum structure of comparable areal density.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary NASA application for the proposed radiation shielding materials is the construction of long duration space habitats for manned missions to the moon and Mars. Habitat modules that can be lifted by the Ares V launch vehicle would provide near term living quarters and laboratories for initial lunar missions. Modular construction will enable a facility to be built using the same principles as those used to build the international space station.

The large structure ceramic composite technology to be developed during the effort has additional applications beyond space habitats. Development of large ceramic composite components with application tailored matrices will enable the fabrication of gas turbine, scram jet and rocket engine components. Specific engine components include combustion liners, inlet ducts and nozzles. Tailoring the matrix for high temperature applications will enable engine housings for aircraft engines and power generation systems. Fabrication of large, uncooled, nonablating rocket nozzles will improve thrust to weight and/or engine specific impulse.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Developing large ceramic composite components both with and without boron carbide will also enable the fabrication of large ceramic composite structures for next generation nuclear plant (NGNP) applications including hot ducts, control rod guides and containers. Additional nuclear applications include long term storage and transport containers for radioactive waste. In addition, the development of high strength boron carbide based composites will lead to improved armor systems that can be seamlessly integrated into vehicle systems as structural members to minimize vehicle weight while adding significant ballistic protection. Specific component applications include pilot seats, armored limousines and up-armoring kits for existing vehicles.

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.

Radiation Shielding Materials

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50