Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Newsletter
Zones
Airport, Border and Port Safety and Security
Left Nav Sep
Bioterrorism
Left Nav Sep
Civil Aircraft
Left Nav Sep
Civil Airlines, Airports and Services
Left Nav Sep
Communications and Navigation
Left Nav Sep
Education, Training and Professional Services
Left Nav Sep
Manufacturing and Materials
Left Nav Sep
Military and Defence Facilities
Left Nav Sep
Military Aviation
Left Nav Sep
Military Vehicles
Left Nav Sep
Naval Systems
Left Nav Sep
Personal Equipment
Left Nav Sep
Software and IT Services
Left Nav Sep
Space and Satellite
Left Nav Sep
Weapons, Ammunition and Explosives
Left Nav Sep
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File Logo
New Material Logo
Pro Health Service Zone
Pro Manufacturing Zone
Prosecurity Zone
Web Lec Logo
Pro Engineering Zone
 
 
 
News

5 Metre Heat Shield Construction for Orion Space Craft


Strict Standards: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/defensef/public_html/components/com_zone/handleHTML.php on line 623
Lockheed Martin Space Systems
: 02 March, 2010  (Application Story)
Lockheed Martin and it’s partners have developed new high temperature materials for a large heat shield structure affording improved crew protection on the Orion exploration vehicle
5 Metre Heat Shield Construction for Orion Space Craft
The Lockheed Martin-led team developing the Orion crew exploration vehicle achieved a major technology milestone by completing fabrication of the world's largest heat shield structure. The shield is five meters (16.4 feet) in diameter and is critical to the protection of the spacecraft and its crew from the extreme temperatures experienced during re-entry. The work was completed at Lockheed Martin's composite development facility in Denver.

The crew exploration vehicle is at the height of its development phase, which has spurred several new technologies and innovations such as a cutting edge high-temperature composite material system. The new system was developed by the Lockheed Martin Orion thermal protection system team in partnership with TenCate Advanced Composites, a leading supplier of aerospace thermosetting and thermoplastic prepregs. TenCate's composite materials are used in commercial aircraft, radomes, satellites, general aviation, oil and gas, medical and high-end industrial applications.

'In addition to the technology advancement, we achieved a $10 million cost savings and improved the project schedule by 12 months through the innovative tooling, materials and fabrication processes the team put into action,' explained Cleon Lacefield, Lockheed Martin vice president and Orion program manager.

The new resin system was developed over an 18-month period during which thousands of coupons were tested in extreme environments that simulated a ballistic re-entry from a lunar mission. The team verified that the thermal insulator on the outside of the composite material can be thinner due to the higher temperature capability, resulting in improved mass optimisation of the Orion spacecraft.

The new resin system enables much simpler and more efficient manufacturing techniques compared to other high temperature resin systems. This resin system has the potential to be used in a wide range of commercial applications including aircraft, automobiles, launch vehicles, payload fairings, and re-entry vehicles.

The expansive heat shield will be applied to the Orion ground test article, which is the first full-sized, flight-like test article for Orion being built at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The ground test article is designed to serve as a production pathfinder to validate the flight vehicle production processes and tools. When completed, the crew module will be tested on the ground in equivalent flight-like environments, including static vibration, acoustics and water landing loads. This early high fidelity testing is necessary to correlate sizing models for all subsystems on the vehicle.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor to NASA for the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The Lockheed Martin Orion Project office is based in Houston, Texas, near NASA's Johnson Space Centre. The team includes major subcontractors Aerojet, Alliant Techsystems (ATK), Hamilton Sundstrand, Honeywell, Orbital Sciences Corporation and United Space Alliance; and an expansive network of minor subcontractors and small businesses working at 88 facilities in 28 states across the country.
Bookmark and Share
 
Home I Editor's Blog I News by Zone I News by Date I News by Category I Special Reports I Directory I Events I Advertise I Submit Your News I About Us I Guides
 
   © 2012 DefenseFile.com
Netgains Logo