ILC Dover
( today announced it has received notice of award from
NASA on a program that will directly address many of the NASA exploration
objectives and technical challenges noted in NASA’s Human & Robotic Technology
(H&RT) Project Formulation Plan.

The goal of ILC’s program is to improve system reliability and increase
infrastructure flexibility by incorporating intelligence and material
improvements in inflatable materials that can be used in a variety of system
architectures. Inflatable structures will play a major role in future
exploration missions since they offer high packing efficiency for reduced mass
and launch costs.

The benefits of using structures with readily collapsible walls are the

  • Reduced stowage volume (or increased packing efficiency), which can have a profound effect on launch vehicle size and thus mission cost.
  • Reduced mass, which is realized when comparing all features equally with mechanical systems.
  • Reduced complexity, which results in higher reliability than mechanically deployable systems.
  • Increased design flexibility, which enables inflatable structures to be made into a multitude of shapes that can extend in various directions.

Recent advancements in materials science and electrical engineering have
created several technologies that can be applied to the walls of these
inflatable structures to provide intelligence for improved performance and
sustainability in mission applications. ILC currently is employing printed or
etched conductive traces in products for medical, architectural, and space

“This program is one step forward to helping NASA realize their space
exploration objectives,” said William Wallach, President of ILC Dover. “ILC
Dover is proud to support this effort, and we are looking forward to applying
our engineered film and fabric design expertise in the areas of space suits,
space and surface habitats, airlocks, ballutes and decelerators.”

About ILC Dover

Since 1947, ILC has been active in the design and development of products
for both government and industry. Most ILC products are comprised of
softgoods materials – products that are flexible by nature and result in
innovative solutions to customer problems.

Whether protecting personnel in hostile environments, containing potent
powder pharmaceuticals, or developing unique inflatable devices, ILC’s record
of performance is enviable. By drawing from a blend of highly qualified
personnel and a sound base of both proven and innovative technologies (the
same attributes that helped us put man on the moon and rovers on Mars), ILC
Dover continues to develop reliable hardware and unique softgoods.

Our Department of Defense, commercial, and NASA customers rely heavily on
ILC’s multi-disciplined technical expertise to provide inventive solutions for
a wide range of applications.