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Recent Patents on Space Technology
ISSN (Print): 1877-6116
ISSN (Online): 2210-6871
DOI: 10.2174/1877611611202020085

Toward Inflatable Structures with Functional Phase Transitions: An Upto- Date Review with a View of Potentials

Author(s): Benjamin F. Dorfman
Pages 85-96 (12)
Dynamic inflatable structures may complement rigid structures in their long-term mission or permanent life in space. Multifunctional inflatable structures may serve as replaceable co-journeyers, temporal extensions, flexible arms and “sense organs” of rigid structures. Mass-energy effective and sensitive phase transitions are particularly feasible as a physical base for many functions of ultra-light inflatable structures. In this course, the article suggests a dual conceptual patent review: for space inflatable structures and for functionally employed phase transitions patented in the field of space technology or potentially applicable for it. On a quality level, smart inflatable structures with intrinsic phase-transitional properties are considered as well. The method of durable protection extending the life and functions of inflatable structures is also reviewed.
Space, space exploration, inflatable structures, smart inflatable structures, tunable albedo, phase transitions, tuneable phase transition, metal - insulator transitions
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