Inflatable Structures of Non-Circular Cross Section

by Eric E. Matsumoto, Fluor Daniel, Inc, Irvine, United States,
Shayan Pazargadi, Fluor Daniel, Inc, Irvine, United States,
Philip J. Richter, Fluor Daniel, Inc, Irvine, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


This paper discusses six approaches to achieve an inflatable structure of non-circular cross section for use in lunar base development. Other papers have examined potential multiple uses of a large, inflatable lunar assembly building which employs a non-circular cross section in order to provide a large ratio of usable-space to total-space and to limit the work associated with excavation and regolith covering. Six approaches which could produce an inflatable structure to meet this need are investigated qualitatively. These approaches are: cable-reinforced membranes, external cable anchorage, membranes designed through formfinding, regolith ballast restraint, membranes combined with rigid structural members, and tension columns and partitions. Two of these six approaches, cable reinforced membranes and membranes combined with rigid members, appear to have the most potential for use, although further study and analysis are required.

Subject Headings: Cross sections | Cables | Tensile structures | Excavation | Railroad ballast | Space frames | Space structures | Space exploration

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