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Center Independent Research & Development: KSC IRAD

Novel Material Systems and Methodologies for Transient Thermal Management

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Thermal Infrared (IR) image of Shape memory alloy (SMA) thermal system during actuation

Advancements in design and development of evaluation methodologies were made in transient thermal testing. Development of multifunctional and thermally switchable systems to address reduced mass and components, and tailored for both structural and transient thermal applications.  Active, passive, and novel combinations of the two functional approaches are being developed along two lines of research investigation: switchable systems and transient heat spreading. The approach was to build in thermal functionality to structural elements to lay the foundation for a revolution in the way high energy space systems are designed.

The research team took a fully collaborative approach with  NASA, the University of Central Florida, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and a  global research commercial partner on the development and application of novel materials. Information gained in this study will be leveraged to propose future funding to advance the technology readiness level (TRL) for extreme conditions applications.

The three materials research tasks and associated partners that were explored during this project are summarized as follows:

  1. Two-way Shape Memory Alloys systems with University of Central Florida and  NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC)
  2. Gradient Cellular solids with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
  3. Tunable composites/laminates  with NASA-GRC
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Anticipated Benefits

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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