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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Thin Aerogel as a Spacer in Multi-Layer Insulation for Cryogenic Space Applications

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Thin Aerogel as a Spacer in Multi-Layer Insulation for Cryogenic Space Applications
Long duration storage of large quantities of cryogenic fluids for propulsion, power, and life-support is an essential requirement for long-term missions into space. The behavior of active and passive cryogenic fluid management (CFM) is paramount to the reliability of a spaceship and cryotank storage. Therefore, efficient and reliable insulation materials are key to the success of space missions. Aspen Aerogels proposes to develop a Multi-Layer Aerogel Insulation (MLAI) system to meet NASA's CFM needs. Aerogel has been demonstrated to be more durable and reliable than MLI, at a lower weight and reduced cost with comparable thermal performance. During this program, Aspen Aerogels will validate the key process step for a next generation aerogel manufacturing technology to enable the fabrication the proposed aerogel material. This new process is also expected to enable cost reduction of aerogel materials in general, a requirement to penetrate larger commercial thermal insulation markets. Development of the proposed MLAI system will provide NASA with a long-term CFM solution for space applications. More »

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