The Woven Thermal Protection System (WTPS) project explores an innovative way to design, develop and manufacture a family of ablative TPS materials using weaving technology and testing them in the arc jet to establish the viability of the concept of weaving TPS.
It is a technology development project that proves the feasibility of woven material as a game changing approach for future planetary entry/return missions. Woven TPS can be of rapidly manufactured at low-cost, and could provide a sustainable, scalable and mission specific TPS solution. 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 (MPCV).