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Multi-Layered Integrated Airframe System, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Multi-Layered Integrated Airframe System, Phase I
NASA has a need to develop higher performance ablative thermal protection systems (TPS) than is currently available for future exploration of our solar system's inner and outer planets. Potential missions for these new and/or improved TPS materials include Mars Entry, Descent & Landing, and Mars Sample Return, but the general desire is that these new technologies be capable of cross-cutting mission applications. In addition to improved TPS performance, NASA also has a need for TPS integrated with the sub-structure that will improve thermal efficiency, insulation performance, system thermal-structural performance, and system integrity with the goal of achieving increased system reliability, reduced areal mass, and/or decreased costs over the current state-of-the-art (SOTA). This program will address NASA's need to: 1) Develop higher performing TPS materials to meet the demands of severe mission trajectories such as Mars Sample Return; and 2) Integrate TPS materials with the sub-structure to improve overall robustness and decrease mass. This program's goal is to extend Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA, TRL=9) and Integrated Composite Structure (ICS, TRL=5) TPS materials to a broader range of flight heat fluxes and performance to address future missions and heatshield designs. The current TRL for the multi-layered TPS system is 3, with an envisioned TRL of 6 at the completion of a successful Phase II program. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.