NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 X2.02-7885
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Structures and Habitats
PROPOSAL TITLE:Rigidizing Inflatable Deployable Dwelling (RIDD)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
FIRESTAR ENGINEERING, LLC
557 Burbank St., Unit J
Broomfield ,CO 80020 - 7160
(303) 439 - 2698

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David   Fisher
david@firestar-engineering.com
557 Burbank St., Unit J
Broomfield, CO  80020 -7160
(303) 439 - 2698

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
By combining thin thermoplastic films, woven Vectran reinforcements, and heat a reliable, deployable, rigidizing space habitat can be created. Although much research has been performed on rigidizing space structures, characteristic material flaws prevent reliable deployment of rigidizing extraterrestrial habitats. Many materials fail space qualification due to the catalytic nature of their rigidization method. However, by layering thin low-density polyethylene with virtually any composite weave, a pliable composite is created. When inflation pressure and heat are applied, the low density polyethylene melts into the composite weave and causes the entire matrix to harden. The proposed composite would consist of Vectran with a low-density polyethylene laminate. Because our composite is stable at nearly cryogenic temperatures through around 100 C, it outperforms most other rigidizing materials currently being studied. The thermal properties coupled with nearly zero creep provide strong promise for its compatibility with rigidizing habitats.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Rigidizing habitats would promote extended stays in space. Inflatable rigidizing habitats would allow NASA to expand on the ISS as well as create a large living volume for deep space exploration. Volume and mass limitations on launch vehicles restrict the living space permitted with normal materials. The material we propose minimizes volume and mass so as to maximize living space. Any application where a large habitable volume is needed, our composite can be implemented.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
As the private sector's interest in space grows with technology, space tourism is bound to grow as well. Currently Bigelow Aerospace is seeking technology to create an orbiting space hotel. The composite habitat proposed would be a viable solution to house space tourists. Terrestrially the composite could be used for long term habitats in extreme conditions such as the north/south pole. The composite is stable over a wide range of temperatures, so if a light weight rigid structure were needed, a Vectran/polyethylene module could be used. Additionally, deployable components for satellites are always needed. Since our material needs no inflation pressure to remain structural, deployable booms, solar arrays, antennas, and trusses could also be made out of the same material. Because technology is progressing at such an astonishing rate, high performance rigidizing material will become increasingly important.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Composites
Erectable
Inflatable
Kinematic-Deployable
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Portable Life Support


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12