ESA/ESTEC/19981 “HybridTPS: Feasibility and use study of a novel hybrid ceramic ablator TPS for probes”. 2007-2008.

This project was carried out exclusively by the laboratory with ESA funding and concerned the development and feasibility study of a new, patented (2007-8) thermal protective system for probes based on a porous ceramic matrix filled with a phenolic ablator.The ceramic was a MgO-spinel oxide composite made by the SHS method and the phenolic was impregnated into the ceramic by a vacuum process. It was tested to 2.5MW/m2 and offers an alternative stronger, cheaper nett-shape approach to TPS construction than pure ablator and is still under development.