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Verification and Validation of an Innovative Inflatable Structure

Award Information

Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch:
N/A
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
094230
Solicitation Year:
2009
Solicitation Topic Code:
X4.02
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Paragon Space Development Corporation
3481 E. Michigan Street Tucson, AZ 85714-2221
View profile »
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
 
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Verification and Validation of an Innovative Inflatable Structure
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX11CB83C
Award Amount: $599,688.00
 

Abstract:

An inflatable habitat is a pressure vessel with flexible shell. Notable features such as low weight, large inflated operational volume, and small pre-deployment volume offer significant advantages over traditional rigid metallic and composite habitat structures. Conventional designs suffer from indeterminacy of load sharing between meridional and circumferential members as well as the internally rigid metal support structure. The designs must functionally index the meridional and circumferential members to one another to minimize sensitivity to manufacturing, handling and operational trauma, all the while maintaining their independent load carrying roles. This design process results in oversized members to account for load uncertainties and substantially increases the handling, manufacturing, and integration risks. The unique Ultra High Performance Vessel (UHPV) technology provides the solution to the design and manufacture of robust inflatable structures with exceptional accuracy and dimensional stability. UHPV technology provides high shell load containment architecture with fully determinate load pathways that can be modeled mathematically. The lightweight, low cost inflatable fabric structure, consisting of barrier film layers, carrier cloth containment layers, and pressure restraint tendons can be designed and fabricated to provide an accurate geometry without the need for an internal skeletal frame. Eliminating the need for a rigid internal load-bearing frame allows the collapsed inflatable to be packaged in the smallest possible volume. To bring this innovative inflatable design to use for surface habitats, airlocks and myriad other space environment and containment applications, a verification and validation plan using both testing and predictive analytical models is proposed to conclusively demonstrate that the fully load-determinate UHPV can meet all structural design requirements thereby allowing for decreased mass and risk.

Principal Investigator:

James Harrell
Principal Investigator
5203824842
jharrell@paragonsdc.com

Business Contact:

Carole Hammond
Business Official
5203824814
chammond@paragonsdc.com
Small Business Information at Submission:

Paragon Space Development Corporation
3481 East Michigan Street Tucson, AZ 85714-2221

EIN/Tax ID: 860734347
DUNS: N/A
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No