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Game Changing Development

Lightweight Materials and Structures (LMS): Inflatable Structures

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Lightweight Materials and Structures (LMS): Inflatable Structures

 Current inflatable structures are designed on the restraint layer’s short term properties with a Factor of Safety of 4 due to lack of long-term data on structural fabrics.  Long-term (5-years) end of life properties of restraint layer materials under loads, are unknown.  

The Inflatable Structures (InSTAR) project goal is to demonstrate long term durability of inflatable habitat structures for potential utilization as either in-space or planetary habitats.  Using a multi-center approach to leverage capabilities and recent contributions from prior NASA-funded inflatable technology projects, industry, and DoD activities.  Unique test facilities will be designed and outfitted to conduct experimental tests on SOA high strength webbings and full configuration inflatable modules.  Unique test hardware and data acquisition systems will be built to capture global displacements and strains of webbing materials.  Collaboration with industry and government partners will be conducted.  Periodic reviews of the technical work will be conducted, schedule will be tracked and budget will be monitored on a regular basis.

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