The material developed in the Phase I effort could have a variety of applications within NASA. The flexible ablative aerogels would be used as a deployable TPS for planetary exploration vehicles and in conformal applications where the materials are bonded to a rigid substructure. This feature may make them attractive for TPS of future return from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) vehicles and perhaps Mars Science Lab (MSL) type Mars robotic entry systems.
These materials are expected to be stable to about 500 �C and the resulting insulation system from this program will also have far reaching benefits for both military and commercial applications. The prepared aerogels could also be used where phenolic-type foam insulation is used such as pipe insulation, mechanical insulation, equipment insulation, tank insulation, and duct insulation, especially those applications operating at temperatures below ambient. The carbonized aerogel materials would be of interest to DoD for their hypersonic global strike vehicles. The potential also exist for insulating weapons, fuel tanks, electronics, and landing gear bays of military aircraft. There are also numerous and far-ranging applications for durable and reliable insulation systems that would improve the energy efficiency of high temperature industrial processes.