Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Martin and Smith Receive NASA Grant for Thermal Protection Systems and Instruments

University of Kentucky mechanical engineering associate professor Alexandre Martin has received a $270,000 grant for a project that will support NASA’s future exploration and science missions. Bill Smith, professor in UK’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is co-I on the project.

The grant is courtesy of NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, which has selected “15 promising space technologies to be tested on commercial low-gravity simulating aircraft, high-altitude balloons and suborbital rockets. These flights will help advance technologies for future spaceflight, taking them from the laboratory to a relevant flight environment” according to NASA’s media advisory.

Martin says the award will lead to the “Demonstration of a small atmospheric re-entry capsule that can be used as a test bed to flight-qualify future thermal protection systems and instruments, or as a means to return payloads from space to a planetary body. A series of drop tests from balloons will help validate the onboard communication systems and parachute deployment.”

Since arriving at UK in 2010, Martin has received several grants from NASA, including a $1.05 million award in 2013, and three separate $500,000 awards in 2014, 2015 and 2017.