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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Unibody Composite Pressurized Structure (UCPS) for In-Space Propulsion, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Unibody Composite Pressurized Structure (UCPS) for In-Space Propulsion, Phase I
Microcosm, in conjunction with the Scoprius Space Launch Company (SSLC), will develop a Unibody Composite Pressurized Structure (UCPS) for in-space propulsion that constitutes a clean break from traditional spacecraft design by combining what were traditionally separate spacecraft primary and secondary support structures and metal propellant tanks into a single unibody, all-composite construction that is stronger, much lighter weight, more robust and reliable, and capable of supporting much higher pressures and smaller volume than previous approaches. The single, all-composite structure will include linerless, high-pressure propellant tank(s), composite bosses, flanges, longitudinal and circumferential stringers with integral shelves, holding mechanisms, and attach features to support all of the spacecraft equipment and replace the separate, mission-critical primary support structure, tanks, struts, straps, braces, clamps, and brackets traditionally required to hold subsystem parts in place. The new structure has nearly 0 CTE over a temperature range from cryogenic to over 100 C. Phase I will determine requirements, create a preliminary UCPS design relevant to a potential SMD mission, and test material compatibility with various in-space propellants. Phase II will build two UCPS structures employing test masses for spacecraft components, and complete qualification and burst testing on one of them (including 0-g testing). 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.