Thursday, 19 July 2012

SAM presented in ICES (San Diego, CA, USA) as part of Mars Base 10

New application areas of SAM were presented at this week’s AIAA International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES) in San Diego. The paper had the title “Inflatable Structures for Mars Base 10” and was given in the Space Architecture Section. The paper covered inflation simulation of the Mars Base 10 which enables a crew of 10 astronauts to work permanently on the surface of Mars. Research on Mars Base 10 was first presented in 2008 by Ondrej Doule from the International Space University (Strasbourg, France). The Self-inflating Adaptive Membrane (SAM) has various application areas in and around Mars Base 10; they can be used as transmission antennas, solar concentrators adjusting the focal point based on the season to increase their efficiency or as sun shields also in form of small shelters to protect parts of Mars Base 10 or any deployed scientific, mining, or transportation hardware against radiation and Martian sand storms. They can be used for portable EVA shelters for crew as well as hardware. Further application may include also components of deployable exploration flyers and backup hardware. The big advantage of these structures is that they can be deployed out of a small container wherever, whenever they are needed. It is therefore not necessary to transport the deployed structure first into earth orbit and then to Mars. The transport of SAM in the storage box also decreases the risks of damaging the structure on the journey to Mars from micro meteoroids or high radiation environments for example in the van-Allen belts.

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