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