Battelle has won a potential seven-year, $46.3 million contract to help the Department of Defense (DoD) manufacture thermal protection materials that withstand extreme hypersonic environments, the company reported on Tuesday.
“Battelle made a strategic decision a little over a year ago to re-examine the basic process used for creating critical high-temperature carbon materials that are used in hypersonic vehicle shells and structures,” said Andy Kirby, Research Lead for Space and Hypersonics.
The Manufacturing of Carbon/Carbon Composites for Hypersonic Applications (MOC3HA) initiative will mature and integrate manufacturing to expedite the production of carbon/carbon composites.
“Through MOC3HA, we’ve pulled together a team of carbon-carbon manufacturers, industry specialists, academic groups, and external technology providers with automation expertise to improve the production of these critical parts for hypersonic platforms,” said Brent Carey, a senior research scientist who is leading the program.
Battelle’s support will advance hypersonic weapons systems. Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) are critical to withstand the aerodynamic heating of traveling at hypersonic speeds. Battelle’s Advanced Materials team will help government and commercial clients develop new capabilities, extend the lifetime of current systems and improve operational performance.
“At the end of the day, our goal is to improve performance and shorten the time of production to increase the availability of these critical materials,” Carey added.
The Air Force Research Laboratory received five bids for the Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract and will obligate $6.3 million in fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds at the time of award.