Research and Classification of Inflatable Space Vehicle and its Materials
Inflatable space vehicle (ISV) has a variety of advantages of light mass, volume changeability and low cost, and becomes the hotspot in space vehicle research recently. But most researchers concentrate their efforts on applications of ISV in their dedicated domains, and the holistic viewpoint of ISV is indistinct. In this paper, the new developing space vehicle, ISV is classified into flatness, lenticula, sphere and cabin in brief due to its different structures and applications. Each type owns its special materials for folding, inflation-deployment, rigidization and resistibility in the space rigorous environment. Materials utilized in typical ISV are summarized subsequently, which can be sorted by polymer films, flexible rigidizable composites and multiple-layer laminates. Finally, the properties of ISV materials including environment endurance, mechanics, fabrication technologies and special functions are concluded, which is useful in material design and optimization.
Yafang Han, Fusheng Pan, Jianmao Tang, Chungen Zhou
D. X. Liu et al., "Research and Classification of Inflatable Space Vehicle and its Materials", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 686, pp. 792-796, 2011