How to make NASA's Chain Mail Space Fabric better to protect spacecraft
This article is about NASA's chain mail space fabric as shown in
The original article about it
does not describe it very well. So I deduce a description from looking at the photo. It appears square metal pieces are
joined to each other using four or eight metal rings which are again looped through another ring at the bottom.
Here are some ways to improve this fabric:
- Replace squares with triangles. Squares cannot fit well together to form complex surfaces like the sphere unless the squares are tiny compared to the sphere. Even then there will be gaps between the squares when folded. Whereas even large
triangles can fold to form a (crude) sphere without much gap between them.
- Replace rings with SPrings. When catching a fast moving ball you should move your hand in the direction of the ball's momentum to gradually slow the ball or your hand will be injured. By connecting the triangles with three springs to the nearby
triangles you add ability to slow down meteorities without injuring the fabric. When something hits the fabric the springs
will absorb the momentum and then when the object is sufficiently slowed down it will bounce the object back without injuring the fabric.
- The fabric should be fixed at a distance from the hull of the spacecraft using pogo sticks. If the object hits the fabric between the sticks then the fabric will stretch and bounce the object. If the object hits the pogo stick head on then the pogo stick will bounce it.
- The middle of the pogo stick should be fixed to the hull of the spacecraft using a joystick like ball and the bottom of the pogo stick inside the hull should be fixed to the center of a fixed wheel where the spokes are springs. If an object hits the pogo stick at an angle it will tilt and bounce back because of the circle with springs.
- Futuristic: The triangles are made of little robots, which when injured are replaced with other triangle robots manufactured by the hull which will recycle injured triangles. This will make for self healing of the "force field shield".
- Ultra futuristic: Each triangle will have a camera and a display. Each triangle will have a corresponding triangle on the opposite side of the spacecraft and will display the image captured by that triangle. This will make the "force field shield" a cloaking field and make the spacecraft invisible.
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