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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Deployable Composite Structures, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

NASA is seeking innovative structure technologies that will advance expandable modules for orbital and surface based habitats. These secondary structures must increase utilization of the primary pressurized volumes by accommodating hardware, experiments, storage space, and cable routing. The expandable structures must use minimal launch mass and volume, be easy to install, and maximize operational volume and structural performance in a crewed or material transfer pressure vessel. Utilizing unique materials and innovative mechanical designs, CTD has created a new class of deployable structures for increasing the utility of inflatable habitats. These new concepts are referred to as Composite Rollable Extendible Slit-Tube Structures, or CRESTS. CRESTS can provide room divisions or load bearing floors and provide mounting for racks, storage and cabling. CRESTS are stowed by rolling slit-tube beams, lateral support battens, and floor or wall surfaces into a single compact tube. CRESTS have been designed for linearly expanding lunar modules and for toroidal inflatable orbital habitats. CRESTS are elastically strained deployable composites that provide a positive deployment force and an inherent geometric lock-out to occur once the deployment is complete. This technology can address the challenges within this application of being lightweight, yet rigid. More »

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