Missile Defense Agency

December 12, 2023

Scalable Application of UHTC Coatings for Hypersonic Systems

Missile Defense Agency


Canopy Pioneers Development of a Scalable Application Process for Ultra High Temperature Ceramic (UHTC) Coatings on Hypersonic Systems

Littleton, CO – December 13, 2023 – Canopy is developing hypersonic technology on contract with Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and in collaboration with Purdue University and CU Boulder. This capability is set to address the pressing challenges faced by the Defense Industrial Base for hypersonics, particularly in the development and supply of advanced Thermal Protection Systems (TPS)

Critical Challenges in Hypersonic Defense

Hypersonic vehicles, capable of traveling at speeds greater than Mach 5, encounter extreme temperatures that demand robust thermal protection systems. However, the current leading-edge thermal protection systems are plagued with significant drawbacks such as poor oxidation resistance, supply chain vulnerabilities, and manufacturing practices that fail to meet the scalability required for contemporary defense needs.

Canopy’s Response and the Introduction of CG-SPS Technology

To counter these challenges, Canopy has proposed the development of a novel suspension plasma spray system, known as Scalable, Continuously-graded Suspension Plasma Spray for UHTC Coatings (CG-SPS) technology. This system will facilitate the application of a continuously-graded ultra-high temperature ceramic coating to carbon-carbon (C-C) and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), crucial for the leading edges of hypersonic vehicles.

Throughout the project's phases, Canopy will focus on the development of both software and hardware components necessary to synchronize high-fidelity hypersonic material response modeling with the most effective plasma spray process parameters, thereby enhancing the efficacy and reliability of thermal protection systems. This initiative promises to revolutionize thermal protection systems, making them more resilient and adaptable to the fast-evolving needs of hypersonic defense.

Commitment to the Hypersonic Defense Industrial Base

Canopy’s innovative approach underscores the company’s dedication to strengthening the Defense Industrial Base for hypersonics. Supply chain vulnerabilities can only be mitigated by enhancing critical path technology, lowering costs, and scaling high-rate production.

About Canopy

Canopy is a leading force in aerospace innovation, developing and manufacturing advanced materials for space and defense assets through advanced manufacturing methods. With a dedication to technological advancement and national defense, Canopy is at the forefront of efforts to ensure that the United States maintains its strategic defense and exploration capabilities.

For more information on Canopy and the Missile Defense Agency partnership, please contact info@canopyaerospace.com.

Photo Credit: NASA X-43A, Armstrong Flight Research Center

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