Energy Efficient Tentage with Reduced Thermal Signature

Period of Performance: 12/18/1998 - 06/18/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

L'Garde, Inc.
15181 Woodlawn Avenue
Tustin, CA 92780
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Essential elements of today's highly mobile military services are effective mobile and temporary shelters. Increasingly, there is a demand for large, easily deployed, temporary shelters for many aspects of military activities. Current shelters are generally not well insulated resulting in large heating and cooling environmental controls units (ECU's). These ECU's have large power requirements and are bulky and heavy reducing mobility and consequently the effectiveness of mobile military units. The poor insulation results in an increased thermal signature leaving the shelters vulnerable to detection and targeting. Further, the limited insulation results in internal thermal gradients within the structure and condensation further eroding the concept's usefulness. L'Garde proposes solutions to these insulation problems through a technology commonly used in space programs, multi-layer insulation (MLI). Incorporating multi-layer insulation into temporary structures will greatly enhance environmental thermal control while concurrently addressing the thermal signature reduction. L'Garde, with 27 years of experience in inflatable space structures, RV decoys and targets with prerequisite signatures over multiple spectral bands, is well qualified to conduct this effort. Our experience with thermal control of inflatable decoys and experience working with thin films and membranes can be directly applied to enhancing the thermal efficiency of temporary shelters. BENEFITS: The commercial possibilities of thermally enhanced materials and temporary shelters are immense. Once developed, the multi-layer insulation is applicable to commercial tents, temporary buildings, and even to retractable and inflatable arena roofs. Further, the insulation could be utilized in large solid structures such as buildings and warehouses.