Advanced Foam Core Composites for Integrated Airframe/Thermal Protection System Structures

Period of Performance: 04/19/2006 - 08/19/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

12173 Montague Street Array
Pacoima, CA 91331
Principal Investigator


The Air Force is establishing a long-term investment in advanced thermal protection systems (TPS). The goal of this effort is to provide design, materials, and fabrication solutions that meet airframe requirements of aircraft-like operability, responsiveness, and mission flexibility in contrast to today s space access vehicles. The proposed Phase I program will address known shortcomings of current airframe thermal TPSs by designing and demonstrating an advanced TPS with the combined objectives of maximizing structural integrity and performance and minimizing thermal conductivity and weight. Specifically, Ultramet proposes to demonstrate an efficient load-carrying structure composed of advanced composite materials insulated by extremely low conductivity aerogel-filled carbon foam. An integrated approach with innovative design and component attachment methodology, utilization of advanced structural materials, and recently developed rapid insulator processing will make these structures a safe, cost-effective reality. Ultramet proposes to assemble a development team composed of Materials Research & Design for thermal/mechanical modeling and attachment design methodologies, Ocellus Inc. for aerogel insulation processing, and Boeing Phantom Works for definition of DoD hypersonic vehicle requirements.