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SBIR/STTR

Development of Hot Structures Materials for Inflatable Heat Shield, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Innovative low cost, lightweight, durable structural concepts that feature simple robust designs, efficient packaging, and assembly are critical to the development of pressurized inflatable systems for NASA future space explorations. Advanced development of high-temperature resistant fibrous material concepts that do not require parasitic thermal protection systems is essential to meet these goals. CFDRC research team proposes a high performance Structural Inflatable Heat Shield (SIHS) featuring a flexible-deployable thermal protection system (FTPS) that simultaneously performs as mass-optimized hot structure capable of supporting the mechanical loads associated with atmospheric entry. The proposed innovation facilitates reduction of heat shield mass fraction by balancing the vehicle entry parameters with heat shield diameter to take maximum advantage of the shield's mechanical and thermal capabilities. Phase I effort will focus on identification and testing of high performance, high-temperature materials. An integrated test and analysis techniques will be utilized to fully characterize the hot materials for light-weight deployable structures and to fully capture the combined effects of processing, microstructure fiber geometry, temperature-related properties and performance. Phase II will focus on fabricating a subscale prototype of FTPS-based inflatable structure, and conduct extensive strain and thermal testing and analysis of the SIHS under different thermal and structural loading conditions. More »

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

Technology Areas

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