NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-1 X4.02-8435
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Expandable Structures
PROPOSAL TITLE: Expandable/Foldable Structures for Habitat

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Folded Structures Company, LLC
1142a Old York Rd
Ringoes, NJ 08551 - 1045
(908) 237-1955

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Daniel Kling
1142a Old York Road
Ringoes, NJ 08551 - 1045
(908) 237-1955

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Folded Structures Company (FSC) proposes the development of an innovative design approach for multi-laminate, primary and secondary structures for planetary habitats that integrates the dynamic deployment means with the static structural design using an advanced mathematical folding theory. The proposed approach holds the promise of a much simpler structure design that is both lightweight and compactable (low delivery volume) and yet capable of expanding into an expansive surface volume. FSC research indicates the possibility of a new class of deployable, space-based structures that utilize an advanced folding methodology as the primary engineering and assembly method combined with the use of multi-laminate sheet materials. The proprietary patterning algorithms design tessellations for planar sheets that articulate dynamically on the edges of the tessellation allowing for uniform deployment across the entire sheet. Previous to the development of these algorithms, there was no general system for generating doubly periodic folded structures. Based on results from a previous NASA SBIR project, FSC will apply its proprietary folding techniques to the broad topic of expandable habitat structures. The proposed project will essentially become the demonstration stage for the previous research effort, and thus, extend and provide continuity to the ongoing NASA interest in this area.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Applying, adapting and/or additional development of the proposed folding theory will provide a technical break-through in folding architectures for expandable structures (such as floors, airlocks, and connecting tunnels) for lunar habitat applications. Other space-based applications include arrays, parabolic reflectors, sun and radiation shielding and extendable masts and booms. In addition to inflatable architectures, other strategies (including solar heating/radiation, elastic memory, and mechanical force) can be employed for self-activating and sustaining the unfolding process.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Material folding lends itself to a number of applications from very sophisticated (aerospace) to the ordinary such as packaging materials. Kraft paper cores based on the folding techniques could yield a superior product to corrugated cardboard. The chevron pattern could be used in a single layer to absorb shock similar to bubble-wrap. Multi-layer blocks could replace Styrofoam for use in space-filling and shock absorbing. For aerospace using aluminum or composite materials, the folded structures could improve upon the existing honeycomb cores, which are used throughout the airplane in the floors, luggage compartments, and wings. For the transportation industry, aluminum or steel folded tessellations in flat laminated panels could be used for high strength but lightweight truck beds. Folded materials could be specifically designed for automobile floors to give a resilient strength to the frame while also serving to dampen the overall vibrations of the automobile. The lightweight strength and energy absorbing properties are also suited for bumpers, hoods, and crash protecting car doors. On highways, new crash barriers may be possible because of their low cost and high-energy absorption.

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.


Form Generated on 09-18-09 10:14