Successful completion of this SBIR effort will result in the development of a lightweight fabric inflatable airlock structure for advanced space exploration missions that protect habitable environments and reduce operational and logistical overhead. This system will have immediate application in expanding the utility of any human space exploration architecture while benefiting from system cost and payload volume reduction. The proposed technology will find direct application within many NASA missions, programs and projects including projects associated with NASA Evolvable Mars Campaign, STMD Minimalistic Advanced Softgood Hatch (MASH) project, Exploration Augmentation Module (EAM), and deep space inflatable habitat. Other NASA applications include planetary surface habitats, large-scale space hangars for on-orbit assembly, design and analysis of space-based inflatable structures such as telescopes, inflatable aerodynamic decelerators, antenna reflectors, cryogenic propellant tanks, debris shields, rescue vehicles, and barometric chambers.
Non-NASA commercial applications include many potential venues including underwater habitats, deep sea emergency escape systems (submarine), portable storage tanks for oil transport, high altitude air ships, aerostats, compressed air energy storage, remote fuel depot stations, remote water storage tanks for forest fire control, deep space antenna reflectors for ground stations, antenna radomes, emergency shelters, and troop shelters with integrated ballistic protection.