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Hyper Velocity Impact - Environmental Resistant Nano Materials in Space Applications


University of Mississippi/NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate, Space Technology Mission Directorate

Graduate Research Assistant Grace McMahen and Dr. Hunain Alkhateb conduct a molecular dynamics simulation on polymers.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Ostaz, Science PI, University of Mississippi

Dr. Marisabel Lebron-Colon PhD, NASA Technical Monitor, Glenn Research Center

In the clutter of near-Earth space, the greatest threat to orbiting spacecraft is Man-made Orbital Debris (OD). OD can travel at velocities in excess of 6 km/sec. Spacecraft in Near-Earth Orbit (NEO) critical to national interests must be designed to survive OD. This research will develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of a new, unique stateof-the art material system, a composite with Nacre-like material properties that has exceptional hypervelocity impact resistance capabilities. Once developed and tested, this advanced material system could produce new, improved debris shields ready for retrofitting the International Space Station (ISS) and use on spacecraft destined for planetary missions. The University of Mississippi (UM) has started an industry/university collaborative research and test program to exploit the revolutionary properties of these new, “exotic”, multifunctional nanocomposites for ultralightweight space structural applications under extreme environments and loading conditions. The research team is also interested in developing analysis methods to characterize the performance of these materials at the macro level to make these materials easier to analyze, design and, thus, expand their usage across different industries. This research has gathered the cutting-edge research capabilities of UM and several Mississippi universities with a goal of stimulating the regional and national economy. The UM team has been working with Mississippi State University, Department of Aerospace Engineering, in exploring the use of developed materials for other applications, such as lightning protection and radar shielding. Four new graduate courses were developed as part of this initiative and a new graduate degree in nano engineering and science has been proposed to the School of Engineering at UM. Various research programs at UM and partner universities are poised to contribute discoveries and innovations in the modeling, synthesis, characterization, and production of advanced materials. A number of academic courses and programs are preparing innovative professionals and scientists, knowledgeable leaders, and literate citizens for a “materials” world. NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15



EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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