The resulting insulation system from this program will also have far reaching benefits for both military and commercial applications. The materials would also be of interest to DoD and DoT. The potential for the use of this material exists for cryogenic fuel storage tanks and transfer lines for liquefied natural gas. There are also numerous applications for durable and reliable insulation systems that would improve the energy efficiency of cryogenic industrial processes. The product will have a commercial impact in areas such as: magnetic resonance imaging, power transmission in big cities (superconducting cable), food freezing and blood banking.
The material developed in the Phase II effort could have a variety of applications in the aerospace industry and within NASA. Aerogels are the most efficient thermal insulation known, and NASA has several applications that would benefit from the low density and low thermal conductivity of aerogels. Aspen has been in discussions with United Launch Alliance and NASA Kennedy Space Center to test the hybrid aerogel/MLI insulation system on the CRYogenics Orbital TEstbed (CRYOTE). This testbed will be used to advance the TRL level of the insulation system from 5 (at the end of Phase II) to 7. Low density aerogels will greatly assist NASA to improve its insulation for cryogenic fuel tanks, cryogenic fuel transfer lines, and internal insulation on re-usable launch vehicles. The aerogels developed could also find applications in hypersonic vehicles, and crew exploration vehicles.