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NASA Challenge: Flexible Sealing Device. A Device to Reversibly Join and Form an Airtight Seal Between the Edges of Fabric Materials
  • Award: $15000 USD
  • Challenge closed

Challenge overview

NASA is seeking a new sealing method or device to reversibly join the edges of flexible materials. The seal device will be integrated into an inflatable airlock, and utilized to facilitate extravehicular activity (EVA). This effort is a part of a new concept of  inflatable, membrane-based space modules, which can be  deployed when needed to provide expandable working and living space for astronauts. 

What types of approaches can be used to create an airtight seal between the edges of flexible fabric-like materials of these modules?  The sealing methods or devices need to be easy to use, light, flexible for storage, yet robust and reliable. 

This is an ideation challenge and only requires a written solution.

 

NASA is seeking new sealing method or device to reversibly join the edges of flexible fabric-like materials. The seal device will be integrated into an inflatable airlock, and utilized to facilitate extravehicular activity (EVA). This effort is part of a new concept of inflatable membrane-based space modules which can be deployed when needed to provide expandable working and living space for astronauts. 

Target applications for a flexible seal device, incorporated into a membrane-based hatch, include space station airlocks, Orion spacecraft, various exploration spacecraft habitation modules, and Lunar, and Mars surface habitation modules. 

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $15,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $7,500 and no award being smaller than $2,500. 
  • Submission forwarding occurs during the Challenge.  Since submissions will be forwarded to the Seeker throughout the Challenge, please make sure you upload only a finished proposal. You can submit an updated version of your proposal only as a new submission. If you submit an updated version of your proposal, please clearly indicate the new items and/or edits compared to your previous submission. This will allow the Seeker to quickly find the new information and determine how it improves your submission. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solvers grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 17, 2015.  Late submissions will not be considered.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submitted a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.