Innovative Ground Habitats for Lunar Operational Outpost (IGLOO)

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010

$99.9K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nextgen Aeronautics
2780 Skypark Drive Suite 400
Torrance, CA 90505
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

NextGen Aeronautics, Inc. is proposing an alternate architecture for inflatable lunar habitats that takes advantage of inflatable beam technologies currently being used in various military, aerospace, and commercial applications. Current technology uses a fiber-reinforced elastomeric composite capable of containing high gas pressure, giving the beams the strength needed to form a robust structure that can withstand being buried by regolith for radiation/micrometeorite protection. NextGen's novel approach is to join multiple beams, forming a continuous cellular arched structures or a series of connected rings to form cylinders. Key advantages of this approach include: ability of structure to maintain strength and stiffness independent of pressure in habitable volume, double wall construction preventing puncture of internal/external wall, ability to isolate leaks in affected elements without compromising habitat pressure or structural integrity, possible use of water or other radiation absorbing material to fill beams, and relative ease of creating a rigid structure by filling the beams with foam. We will achieve TRL of 2 in Phase I and technology transition to TRL of 5 in Phase II. NextGen team's strength lies in related prior work, and with investigators who have an exceptional background in inflatable structures and low-stowed volume designs.