I've started looking into the use of compressible foams used in space (specially in approximately 500 km SS orbit). I've tried to find some form of heritage or proof of concept missions that have used low density compressible foam, but I struggle to find anything of merit.

Is there any search term that relates to this topic that's specific to space that I should be searching for? I don't usually find it this hard t find things that do exist, but I'd be surprised if this didn't exist.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any specific purpose in mind? $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Nov 4, 2015 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ I'm just interested in deployment of structures - so i compressed the foam beforehand and then when it's release in orbit it springs back to the initial shape. I've read about shape memory foams etc, but they're temperature dependant and that adds complexity. $\endgroup$
    – ThePlanMan
    Nov 4, 2015 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ @DeerHunter I'm not too worried about structural or thermal performance. I just want to deploy something large from a small amount of launch vehicle space. UV, atomic oxygen and outgassing not withstanding has this sort of thing been done before? $\endgroup$
    – ThePlanMan
    Nov 4, 2015 at 20:02
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Generally, metal springs would be used instead for deployment. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Nov 4, 2015 at 20:08
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ EAPs? There's also Hybrid Deployable Foam Antennas and Reflectors, Lightweight, Self-Deploying Foam Antenna Structures, and Fast Response Shape Memory Effect Titanium Nickel (TiNi) Foam Torque Tubes tech briefs over at NTRS, if that helps you "foam" the question. :D $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Nov 4, 2015 at 20:37


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