Floral Polyhedra as Models for Inflatable Envelopes Suitable for Moon or Mars Habitats 2007-01-3061
This paper discusses how the ideas embodied by a class of of polyhedra called floral polyhedra can be used as inspirational analogies for systematically developing new types of inflatable envelope shapes based on simple polyhedra. These envelopes have the potential to be used for a variety of Moon or Mars habitats, and extend the catalog of envelope shapes available for design work beyond the sphere, torus and cylinder. Some basic geometric properties of floral polyhedra, and how these relate to inflatable envelopes, are discussed. The paper also discusses how variations on such envelopes allow for the installation of integral flat floors made from square honeycomb panels in a manner that may reduce or eliminate the necessity for extensive external staying, or significant excavation when used as a classic surface habitat. It is shown that a number of types of small inflatable residences could be possible with this combination of floral polyhedral-like envelope and square, multi-panel, integral flat floor.