This Phase II program would continue VCSMLI development and increase technology maturity to TRL 5 - 6. Improved cryogenic insulation that can incorporate vapor cooling to reduce the heat flux through struts and skirts would benefit overall cryogenic fluid management, and help towards achieving zero boil off. Any cryogenic launch vehicle could benefit from VCSMLI. The Atlas V family uses the Centaur cryogenic upper stage, with LOX and LH2 tanks with support skirts external sidewalls, such that heat gain and cryopropellant loses are substantial during launch ascent and on-orbit. The Delta IV cryogenic upper stage LOX and LH2 tanks are contained within the Interstage and Payload Fairing, but still have little thermal insulation. Improvements to the cryogenic insulation of the Centaur and Delta Cryogenic Second Stage could add additional capabilities to these launch vehicles. Reducing heat load even further with vapor cooling might be a future enhancement to these launch vehicle families. VCSMLI could help meet cryogenic fluid management goals, reducing propellant boiloff and enhancing the capabilities of current space transportation systems as well as future systems (LH2 storage for SLS for chemical propulsion and for future Nuclear Thermal Propulsion vehicles).
Several aerospace prime contractors have interest in Quest insulation. Vapor cooling of support structures could reduce upper stage cryopropellant boiloff, increasing payload capacity for commercial missions with long coasts. High performance VCSMLI could be used or new vehicles such as Vulcan and SLS. Advances in thermal insulation have relevance to terrestrial commercial applications. Reducing thermal conductivity and heat leak impact heating and cooling industrial processes and energy efficiency. Quest has a current grant from the State of Colorado's Advanced Industry Accelerator program, which is funding prototype development of our commercial grade superinsulation for appliance use. IMLI and derivatives might be able to provide improved thermal insulation for storage and preservation of cryogens for a wide variety of industrial uses, such as insulation for dewars for LHe, LH2, LN2 and LOX, for commercial, medical, industrial and research uses. Large LNG tanks could benefit from improved thermal insulation. Quest has had conversations with VJP suppliers to the LNG industry about our advanced Wrapped MLI. For industrial cold transfer piping, Quest Wrapped MLI has 12X lower heat leak than spiral wrapped MLI, and may enable next generation high performance vacuum jacketed pipe insulation with significantly lower heat leak. Quest high performance insulation has many opportunities for green energy savings and thin insulation panels.