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Space Technology Research Grants

Center for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES)

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Center for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space
The Institute for Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP) will serve as a focal point for partnerships between NASA, other federal agencies, industry, and academia to: (1) enable computationally-driven development of CNT-based ultra-high strength lightweight structural materials and (2) expand the resource of highly skilled scientists, engineers and technologists in this emerging field to enhance the U.S. leadership in critical lightweight structural materials. The research objectives of US-COMP are to: • Establish a new computationally-driven material design paradigm for rapid material development and deployment • Develop a novel UHSL structural material for use in deep space exploration. The panel-level tests and demonstration of the novel materials will be carried out to move the developed technology to TRL-4 or higher • Develop modeling, processing, and testing tools and methods for CNT assemblage-based UHSL materials • Train a pool of highly skilled scientists and engineers to contribute to the materials development workforce The team will develop the following technologies and have a major impact on the aerospace community: • Lightweight structural materials based on 1 dimensional and 1.5 dimensional CNT building blocks with the exceptional strength, modulus, and fracture toughness properties necessary for manned Mars missions and other space explorations • A new computationally-driven materials design paradigm to develop the UHSL material of interest and for future rapid materials design and development • Fundamental understanding of load transfer and multiscale failure mechanisms of CNT assemblage composite materials to approach their theoretical performance • A full set of engineering performance data from for the developed UHSL material • A new suite of multi-scale mechanical characterization tools and protocols for CNT materials More »

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Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

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Target Destinations

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