Multifunctional Protective Coatings for Spacecraft Surfaces

Period of Performance: 09/13/2006 - 09/13/2008


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Applied Material Systems Engineering Inc.
2309 Pennsbury Ct.
Schaumburg, IL 60194
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Illinois, Chicago
809 S Marshfield RM 608
Chicago, IL 60612
Institution POC


The purpose of this STTR phase II proposal is to scale up and validate various space materials product forms based on material technology concepts proven feasible in STTR phase I efforts. The STTR phase I has successfully demonstrated low cost survivable multifunctional engineered material systems: Zinc-Assisted Self-Assembled Nano-Clusters (Z-SANCs ) and Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) systems: Al doped ZnO (AZO) and (Al, In) doped Zinc Aluminum/Gallium Oxide (DZAGO). This success in phase I has demonstrated technical feasibility, and the companion effort funded under AMSENG investments at SCEPTRE have also proven needed reliable performance, illustrating that at least 40-60% savings for engineered product forms is feasible. The proposed STTR phase II efforts by the team of AMSENG and University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) - Micro Physics Laboratory (MPL) are uniquely innovative for the next generation material systems for space applications, especially because they address the maturation of technologies that demonstrated success in providing high leakage current capabilities needed for robust survivability (as defined by NRO). Thus, the proposed efforts can fulfill the technology gap essential for space assets so they can survive by bleeding off the charges in an upper atmospheric natural or man-made energetic event. The phase I efforts demonstrated this ability by investigating Zinc-Assisted Nano-Cluster Self-Assemblies (Z-SANCs ) which can provide unique abilities to tailor secondary emission properties in material coating systems while providing unique microstructural features of distributed pores and percolating channels coated with amorphous Zn-O-Al glassy phase. Thus, the maturation phase II efforts will uniquely assist DOD hardware like STSS, SBIR-High, and other Battle Management Defense System assets by providing material technologies that can not only carry out surface charge mitigation but also resist deep charge deposition for the first time. The TCO materials systems proposed for scale up are AZO and DZAGO; they represent our ability to address all type of substrate needs encountered on spacecraft or satellite surfaces. Both Z-SANCs and TCO technologies have excellent commercial as well as military (DOD/NASA) appeal. Thus, the proposed STTR phase II plan is unique and addresses needs of timely insertion of new material technologies on hardware of STSS, SBIR-High, ISAT, and High Altitude Balloons. Our overall plan is to mature the proposed technologies by year 2008 for possible timely insertion on needed hardware, where robustness needs are requirements.