Innovative Durable Thermal Protection Systems for Next Generation Civil and Military Space Vehicles
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Reusable space vehicles currently being designed by the United States Air Force (USAF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for both military and commercial applications require innovative structural components that are both light weight and able to withstand the severe thermal environments of multiple reentries into the atmosphere without time consuming and expensive refurbishment prior to the next flight. This program builds on, and expands, Aero Thermo Technology's (AT2) recent success bringing state-of-the-art thermal protection materials and advanced composite manufacturing techniques together to form a family of durable hybrid thermal protection concepts applicable to both insulated and hot structure designs. This approach is a paradigm shift away from the typical tile based thermal protection methodology that is too heavy and requires significant investments in both inspection time and refurbishment. The next generation of space vehicles will not be able to meet their program requirements by using the techniques developed in the 1960's. The thermal protection designer is asked to produce structures of unprecedented performance, and AT2's NexGen insulated structure approach is just such a design solution. AT2's durable thermal protection concepts hold the promise of surviving multiple reentries while minimizing vehicle weight and enabling rapid turnaround of the vehicle with minimal maintenance. Rapid turnaround times with minimal maintenance and refurbishment requirements translate into huge operational cost savings and increased system availability, which is key to any military space vehicle. The designs developed in this program will lead the way to innovative durable thermal protection systems and insulated structural designs that are applicable across a wide range of military and commercial applications including the Air Force Space Maneuver Vehicle (SMV), the Space Operations Vehicle (SOV), and NASA's Next Generation Shuttle.
Small Business Information at Submission:
AERO THERMO TECHNOLOGY, INC.
620 Discovery Drive, Bldg I, Ste 100 Huntsville, AL 35806
Number of Employees: