NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 X5.01-8909
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Expandable Structures
PROPOSAL TITLE: Load-Bearing Inflatables Using Light-Curing Rigidization Technology

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Adherent Technologies, Inc.
5505 Foothills Canyon Road NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111 - 8346
(505) 346-1685

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jan-Michael Gosau
11208 Cochiti SE
Albuquerque, NM 87123 - 3361
(505) 346-1685

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA is soliciting new concepts for lightweight stabilized inflatables in regards to low weight, high storage density, and ease of deployment. What most of the inflatable concepts are lacking is the ability for integrated structural members that do not require permanent inflation pressure. Any structure requiring inflation pressure for structural stability becomes hazardous in case of puncture due to micrometeorite impact or crew activity; it's hard enough to fix the puncture without the whole structure collapsing around the operator like a tent. Additionally the structural supports should allow for the integration of hard points or other modular functionalities.
Adherent Technologies, Inc. has been actively developing stabilization concepts for space inflatables for years. Applications ranged from inflatable shelters, with or without self-healing capabilities, antenna structures, inflatable wing concepts, and structural repair tape. The technology is known as Rigidization on Command™ (ROC), and is accepted as the best solution to preserve inflatable structures in the absence of inflation pressure. The materials have been shown to store in minimal volume using both z-fold and rolling approaches, without damage to the core fiber structures. ATI is now proposing to extend the approach to structural elements to add strength to these structures, and provide building blocks for structurally challenging substructures like floors or roof supports for regolith-covered radiation resistant shelters. Resin impregnated fiberglass, carbon fiber and other advanced reinforcing materials will be used to obtain optimal mechanical properties at minimum weight. As a proof of concept, the Phase I program will concentrate on the basic unit of most modular structural construction, the I-beam. Goal of the program is a 3m demonstration beam.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Structural, load-bearing elements for a future extraterrestrial installation are nearly impossible to launch once they exceed a certain length. Beams can be assembled from shorter pieces, but suffer an excessive weight penalty in the form of fasteners. The rigidizable inflatable beams designed in this project will require minimal storage volume and can be produced to nearly any length and size while still fitting in projected launch vehicles. As such they will be an enabling technology for large living spaces on future long-duration flight missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary commercial market for inflatable rigidizable structures is in emergency or semi-permanent installations for military and relief operations. The ability to strengthen these structures with rapidly erectable structural members will greatly enhance wind resistance and the ability to carry overhead loads. With the emergence of inflatable bridge structures the use of rigidizables will be an important step forward to make such structures permanent.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
In Situ Manufacturing
Space Transportation & Safety

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43