Supporting NASA's In-Space Structural Assembly and Construction program, multifunctional joints with integrated connectors utilizing reversible structural fastener technology, as proposed in this program, directly address requirements for innovative connection approaches/architectures that enable on-orbit geometry adaptation for geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO), low earth orbit (LEO), and lunar orbit systems. This project's innovation will offer mechanically robust, reversible bonding mechanisms that build on CRG's proven fastener technologies and providing multicyclic assembly and disassembly of multifunctional joints. The innovation will directly benefit in-space assembled solar arrays and upgradable (or aggregated) modular spacecraft components. Spacecrafts and satellites frequently deploy solar arrays, solar sails, sun shields, mirrors, antennas, and other instruments after reaching orbit or landing on a planet. The anticipated development can find broader application in manned space flights, interplanetary science flights, GEO communications satellites, GEO weather satellites, LEO communications satellites, LEO remote sensing satellites, and LEO science missions.
This project's technologies, developed for NASA systems, will directly apply to systems operated by other government and commercial enterprises. The technology will directly benefit and expand the capabilities of Government systems engaged in remote structural construction. Military units that must conduct operations remotely or robotically - whether due to hostile environment, hostile forces, or reduced manpower - will benefit from durable, multifunctional field assemblies. Applications can range from electronics and surveillance systems to remote reconfigurable habitats. The same innovative attributes of the technology can be used in remote terrestrial applications, such as by the US Forest Service, or undersea structures for research and other purposes. Finally, the technology will allow rapid and flexible construction of relief shelters and operations facilities as governmental agencies respond to natural or man-made disasters.