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US7100874: Flexible structural restraint layer for use with an inflatable modular structure

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Robert T. Bigelow · Aiken Brian ·
Assignee(s) Bigelow Aerospace ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Franklin E. Gibbs ·
Primary Examiner Robert P. Swiatek ·
Application Number US10722904
Filing date 11/25/2003
Issue date 09/05/2006
Prior Publication Data
Predicted expiration date 04/07/2025
Patent term adjustment 499
U.S. Classifications 244/158.3  · 52/224  · 52/219  ·
International Classifications B64G112  · E04B134  ·
Kind CodeB2
5 Claims, 12 Drawings


Abstract

A flexible structural restraint layer for use with an inflatable modular structure, having a fore and aft assembly separated by a longeron and an inflatable bladder. The restraint layer is comprised of two circumferential strap assemblies, each attachedly fastened at opposing ends of a radial strap assembly. There are a plurality of axial straps that are secured in place to the circumferential strap assemblies and the radial strap assembly. The restraint layer surrounds the bladder and the ends of the axial straps are secured in place at the fore and aft end of the modular structure. When the bladder is inflated, the structural restraint layer distributes the load created by the inflated bladder.

Independent Claims | See all claims (5)

  1. 1. A flexible restraint layer for use with an inflatable modular structure where the inflatable modular structure has a rigid structural core comprised of a fore and aft assembly and at least one longeron attached to the fore and aft assemblies and separating the fore and aft assemblies, at least one bladder capable of being inflated and the at least one bladder being fixedly attached to the fore and aft assemblies, the flexible restraint layer comprising: a first and second circumferential strap assemblies; a radial strap assembly having opposing distal ends; the first and second circumferential strap assemblies disposed on, and attachedly fastened to, the opposing distal ends of the radial strap assembly; a plurality of axial straps having opposing ends forming loops; the first and second circumferential strap assemblies and the radial strap assembly having guides to receive the axial straps and the axial straps being disposed within the guides; the flexible restraint layer being disposed substantially between the fore and aft assemblies of the inflatable modular structure and covering the at least one bladder; and the fore and aft assemblies being adapted to receive the loops of the axial straps such that the flexible restraint layer is fixedly attached to the inflatable modular structure and restrains the bladder when the at least one bladder is inflated.

Patent Family

Document NumberAssigneeInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US20050108950 Robert Bigelow et al. May 2005
US7100874 Bigelow Aerospace Robert T. Bigelow et al. Sep 2006