Woven Thermal Protection System for Future Planetary Entry Missions
NASA's Woven Thermal Protection System (WTPS) project explores an innovative way to design and manufacture a family of ablative TPS materials using weaving technology and testing them in the arc jet. Woven TPS can be rapidly manufactured at low-cost, and could provide a sustainable and scalable TPS solution for future planetary entry/return missions. The woven carbon fabric, in combination with resin infusion through a resin transfer molding process, creates a TPS material capable of handling entry heating between 2,000 and 10,000 W/cm2. Woven TPS material also exhibits greater structural capability making them suitable for multifunctional applications. One such application currently being investigated is the use of woven material in the design of compression pads for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.