Application of this technology would significantly reduce the losses associated with the storage of cryogenic fluids. The advanced insulation techniques being proposed by Sierra Lobo will directly benefit NASA's Advanced Space Exploration Program. Cryogenic fluids such as hydrogen, methane, and oxygen are required for many current and future space missions that will use life-support, propulsion, and power systems. The targeted NASA applications for long term cryogenic propellant storage, in-space as well as on the lunar surface, include space transportation orbit transfer vehicles, upper stages, space power systems, spaceports, spacesuits, lunar habitation systems, and in situ propellant systems. In addition, NASA spaceport operations and propulsion test facilities are both heavily dependent upon a wide range of cryogenic systems. Improving the efficiency of these systems at these facilities using advanced insulation techniques will directly benefit the programs they support through reduced operating costs.
The advanced insulation techniques being proposed by Sierra Lobo can be used in nearly any industrial, commercial, or medical application currently requiring storage of liquid cryogens such as helium, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. Such fluids are routinely used in the medical industry, metals processing, semiconductor manufacture and as well as many non-NASA government agencies. The targeted applications for the Department of Defense include Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) that carry liquid oxygen and potentially liquid hydrogen, liquid hydrogen powered ground transportation systems, space platforms using electric propulsion (xenon, hydrogen), space-based chemical lasers (hydrogen, helium), orbit transfer vehicles (hydrogen, oxygen), and orbital propellant depots/space stations (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen). The Department of Energy applications include reducing heat leak into liquid helium cooled superconducting magnets for particle acceleration systems. Commercial market applications include cryogenic storage dewars for medical and process systems and over-the-road dewars for transporting cryogenics, especially the lower temperature cryogens, liquid hydrogen and helium.