UV Rigid Inflatable Wing
As the unmanned exploration of Mars and Venus becomes more of a focus area at NASA, inflatable, rigidizable wings will become an enabling technology. The successful development of this type of wing will also have significant military applications. The utility of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the military has been dramatically demonstrated in the conflict in Afghanistan. Rigidization of inflatable wings provides several potential advantages, including reducing the vulnerability to punctures, increasing stiffness and load carrying capability, allowing a higher aspect ratio for high altitude efficiency and longer missions, and reducing weight by eliminating the make up pressurization supply. An Ultraviolet (UV) curing epoxy resin system is proposed for development for rigidizing inflatable aero-structures in the Phase I program. This technology builds on current developments for rigidization of space inflatable booms and struts using the Rigidization on Command? (ROC) system. The Phase I program will address structural and manufacturing requirements for inflatable aero-structures and explore the chemistry of an UV light-curing matrix system for rigidization. Matrix chemistry will be formulated to be compatible with long storage times and cure in the space environment using photocurable cationic epoxies. A demonstration half-span wing will be deployed and rigidized at the end of the Phase I program.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Adherent Technologies, Inc.
9621 Camino del Sol NE Albuquerque, NM 87111
Number of Employees: