Rigidification of Flexible, Inflatable Composite Structures

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911QY-04-C-0030
Agency Tracking Number: A032-0744
Amount: $69,984.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: A03-193
Solicitation Number: 2003.2
Small Business Information
Acorn Park, Cambridge, MA, 02140
DUNS: 111046152
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Rancatore
 Associate Principal
 (617) 498-6070
 rancatore.r@tiax.biz
Business Contact
 Renee Wong
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: (617) 498-5655
Email: wong.renee@tiax.biz
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Highly-mobile military missions have a need for lightweight, rapidly deployable structures. Advances in inflatable airbeam technology has allowed the rapid deployment of lightweight structures. However, inflatable airbeam technology may not be the optimum solution for long-term facilities, where high durability and low maintenance are extremely important characteristics. Meeting these characteristics will ensure that the structure will not collapse due to inadvertent loss of air pressure. These characteristics are best met with an inflatable structure that remains structurally sound when deflated. A rigidizable inflatable airbeam similar to structures used by NASA in space can provide the desired durability and maintenance levels. The objective of this proposal is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of field rigidization of rapidly deployable inflatable beams. The state-of-the-art for lightweight inflatable rigidizable beams has been advancing for the past several years, primarily for space applications. These beams offer unique advantages for achieving reduced overall mass and packaging volume while providing high structural efficiency. Ultimately, these beams will be used as frames for fabric-skinned structures to provide enhanced durability for long-term deployments.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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