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SBIR/STTR

RadFlexPro, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Our proposed multilayered, flexible, graded Z radiation shielding, RadFlexPro, provides radiation protection for astronauts in EVA for NASA's future space missions. RadFlexPro can be integrated into current space suit TMG designs and act as multifunctional layers, providing additional protection from micrometeoroids. Current RadFlexPro designs have three layers. The outer layer serves as a first barrier to decelerate high speed and high energy particles: the following layer decelerate particles more, and the final layer protects from possible secondary radiation. It is proposed that RadFlexPro will significantly increase radiation protection without compromising bulk and mobility in a space suit. RadFlexPro is a composition of several materials and layers, with different properties selected to protect against various types of radiation. Compared to single-material shielding, such as Demron, the same mass of Graded-Z coating shows increased radiation opacity; as an alternative, a lower mass of graded z shielding can provide the same level of protection as a single material sheild. In a typical graded-Z shield, the high-Z layer effectively scatters protons and electrons. Because the matrix of RadFlexPro is adjustable, the coating can be sprayed on surfaces, rolled or laminated, and/or dipped into solution. A matrix solution can be made with different viscosities and densities to suit several bonding techniques. Coated fabrics can in turn be cut out according to flat patterns and sewed with other pieces into a TMG configuration. FFD has considerable experience and hardware to sew thick, heavy, rubbery materials effectively. More »

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