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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Lightweight, Radiation Resistant, Low Tg, Thoraeus Rubber Inflatable Space Habitats, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Lightweight, Radiation Resistant, Low Tg, Thoraeus Rubber Inflatable Space Habitats, Phase I
NanoSonic's Shape Memory Metal RubberTM (SM-MR) exhibits reconfigurable and recoverable changes in structural and RF properties as it can be mechanically and repeatedly inflated without loss of EMI shielding (-88dB). In support of NASA's goals for a robust space exploration program, it is anticipated that NanoSonic's lightweight low permeable bladders shall also exhibit long term radiation resistance upon morphing; a property that few, if any, inflatable materials offer. Typical highly filled or metal evaporated nanocomposites crack upon flexing. Conformal and compliant SM-MR is based on self-assembled high-z, dense, nanoparticles covalently bound to ultra-low glass transition temperature (as low as -145C, 128 Kelvin) elastomeric or shape memory polymers. NanoSonic and our STTR partner, Colorado State University, have demonstrated that SM-MR is up to 50% lighter in weight and provides greater gamma ray attenuation relative to commercial shielding materials, without emitting harmful secondary radiation under a 137Cs source. During Phase I, low temperature flexibility, and radiation/micrometeorite (lunar dust) resistance would be verified under simulated Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR) conditions, using gamma radiation sources and an electron accelerator with uniform beams up to 20 MeV. TRL9 shall be reached with our space systems partner upon infusion of Thoraeus RubberTM onto NASA habitats. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.