Load Responsive MLI

Load Responsive MLI (LRMLI) uses a dynamic spacer and a modular, lightweight vacuum shell to withstand atmospheric loads. LRMLI provides high thermal performance in-air, and  very high performance on-orbit. LRMLI is a SOFI replacement system with substantially higher performance.

LRMLI uses dynamic beam discrete spacers that provide low heat conduction and structural strength. LRMLI systems have unique properties, including higher in-air performance than competing insulations such as SOFI or aerogels, with less thickness and less mass for equal heat leak, robust, high strength structure that can self support thin, flexible vacuum shells, or support high strength ballistic layers for micrometeoroid protection, or support vapor cooled shields for advanced zero boil-off cryogenic storage systems.

A three-layer LRMLI system (0.63cm thick, 77K cold, 295K hot) has an in-air heat flux of 29.3 W/m2, and an in-vacuum heat flux of 4.83 W/m2.  0.75" Spray On Foam Insulation has approx 250 W/m2.

In-air LRMLI has 24X lower heat flux than Spray On Foam Insulation (SOFI) in heat flux per thickness and a 22X advantage over aerogel. On-orbit LRMLI has 144X lower heat flux than SOFI per thickness and 8X lower heat flux than aerogel.

LRMLI uses a novel, proprietary and patented discrete spacer that provides both low thermal conductance and the ability to support over 90psi when loaded but disconnect when unloaded (external load). LRMLI insulation structures use a modular, flexible thin vacuum shell that allows the insulation to maintain an internal high vacuum while minimizing system mass.

LRMLI has been tested on a complex 400L cylindrical/hemispherical cryotank, reaching TRL5.