Paragon proposes an Ellipsoidal Propellant Tank (EPT) inflatable cryogenic tank structure that will provide up to 30% mass savings compared to existing composite systems. EPT extends knowledge from prior NASA funded Ultra-High-Performance-Vessel (UHPV) development to deep cryogenic, ellipsoidal, inflatable propellant structures. UHPV utilizes multiple layers including unloaded inner barrier material, minimally loaded carrier cloth, and primary load bearing meridional tendons. This allows each material to be optimized for its functional contribution to the system leading to an overall simpler and lower mass solution. Prior work has proven UHPV feasibility for the barrier material intended for EPT and the utility of our complementary CELSIUS conformal, deployable cryogenic tank insulation. UHPV is most optimal in ellipsoidal configurations and in EPT Phase I we determine the feasibility of UHPV for large, high pressure, cryogenic tank structures by completing a conceptual design, performing more detailed hull, barrier, and interface design, and demonstrating a subscale barrier film EPT including helium leak testing.
The proposed system is applicable to propellant tanks and for future NASA exploration missions, launch systems, propellant depot systems, and orbital or planetary systems. The Ellipsoidal Pressure Tank (EPT) is completely scalable and deterministic allowing it to apply to very small or extremely large (10s meters) applications. Our hybrid soft-structure ellipsoidal systems are more mass efficient than traditional systems thus improving system mass fractions and performance.
The system is applicable to launch systems, propellant depots, and orbital or planetary systems. The Ellipsoidal Pressure Tank (EPT) is scalable and deterministic allowing it to apply to very small or large (10s meters) applications. The hybrid EPT soft-structure is more mass efficient than traditional systems. The EPT may find roles in commercial aspects of future LEO and planetary systems..