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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Mutlifunctional Energy Storage-Structure Modules for Advanced Space Structures, Phase I

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Mutlifunctional Energy Storage-Structure Modules for Advanced Space Structures, Phase I
ITN Energy Systems, Inc., in collaboration with the Center for Composite Materials (CCM) at the University of Delaware, proposes to design and develop multifunctional structure-battery panels for next generation space structures than can be integrated into exploration vehicles or space habitats. The multifunctional panels significantly reduce parasitic mass and volume thereby significantly increasing mission capability for future space missions. In its on-going pursuit of lightweight, low-cost systems, the space industry has made significant investments in "high payoff" technologies such as composite structures and high energy-density batteries. These individual technologies are now "mature", and are "standard" for most new space designs. Additional investment in these areas would yield only a few percent improvements over current performance. Faced with these "diminishing returns", it is clear that future progress demands revolutionary new concepts for space subsystems. ITN believes that this challenge can best be met using Multifunctional Structures (MFS). Structure and electrical power are the two heaviest subsystems on space platforms. In addition, batteries often represent the most voluminous component of the spacecraft bus. Therefore, structure and batteries have been the subject of intense R&D in efforts to reduce mass and improve performance. More »

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