Adaptive Multi-Functional Space Structures for Micro-Climate Controlstudy page
overviewpresentationslist of attendeesrestricted wiki
May 19-23, 2014
The scope of the study is to adapt the most recent advances in multi-functional reconfigurable and adaptive structures to enable a micro-environment control that enables space exploration in extreme environments (EE).
The technical goal is to identify the most efficient materials, architectures, structures and means of deployment/reconfiguration, system autonomy and energy management solutions needed to optimally project/generate a micro-environment around space assets. This novel solution is called an energy-projecting system (EPS). For example, compact packed thin-layer reflective structures unfolding to large areas, can reflect solar energy, warming and illuminating assets such as exploration rovers on Mars or human habitats on the Moon. Specifically, we are seeking solutions that revolutionize space missions through a dramatic increase in the ability to survive extreme environments, leading to:
The primary benefit of this study is to enable missions that would otherwise be too technologically challenging and/or expensive, in particular those that would involve long periods of time without direct solar input or RTGs, the availability of which may be limited in the future. Studies of permanently shadowed environments would particularly benefit, with remote deployables providing illumination, energy and communications. Other uses can be, e.g., to serve as a sun-shield to protect rovers from very strong sun, a thermal blanket to help them retain heat and survive a cold night, a calibration target for instruments, etc.
This study will bring mission designers together with experts in these technologies, resulting in a better understanding of where we can best apply these ideas in space science, and leading toward focused development of the most promising concepts.
Study Co-Lead Prof. Sergio Pellegrino, from Caltech.
Study Co-Lead Dr. Marco Quadrelli, from JPL.
Study Co-Lead Dr. James Lyke, from AFRL