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Inflatable


— Marine

The TIWAL inflatable dinghy is ready to sail in under 20 minutes

The TIWAL 3.2 is an inflatable sailing dinghy that can be assembled or packed down into two bags in a little under 20 minutes. According to its creators, the dinghy is a "high performance" sailing vessel with a multi-purpose design that not only allows families and first time sailors to experience the joys of sailing in calm weather, but also lets expert sailors test their limits. Read More
— Space

How do you put a big antenna on a tiny satellite? Make it inflatable

CubeSats are certainly in the process of revolutionizing the satellite industry. They can serve many of the same functions as full-sized satellites, but at a size of 10 x 10 x 10 cm (3.9 x 3.9 x 3.9 in) and a mass of under 1.33 kg (2.9 lb), they’re much cheaper to build and get into orbit. With that smaller overall size, however, comes smaller onboard antennas. These severely limit CubeSats’ communications range, restricting them to fairly low orbits. That may be about to change, though, as MIT is developing larger, inflatable antennas. Read More
— Outdoors

Bear Grylls' stand-up paddleboard tent turns board into air mattress

Bear Grylls may be infamous for ditching the outdoors for the comforts of a fancy hotel, but he has developed an interesting solution for people that actually enjoy spending the night outside. In collaboration with paddleboard manufacturer Coreban, Grylls plans a tent system that's integrated into a paddleboard. The board can paddle all day and double as an air mattress for a relaxing night of sleep. Read More
— Architecture

In Orbit art installation offers spidery spacewalk experience

If you have ever wished you could experience weightlessness but cant afford space tourism, then a Dusseldorf art gallery may get you closer, as long as you wear sturdy shoes. The "in-orbit" multi-level art installation by Tomás Saraceno is suspended 20m (60 ft) above the piazza of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen gallery. The Argentinian architect and artist’s largest work to date aims to resemble a cloud landscape for those brave enough to walk through it. Read More
— Aircraft

Solar Impulse deploys inflatable hangar for the first time

Finding hangars to house an aircraft with a wingspan greater than a Boeing 787 Dreamliner is no easy task when planning a round-the-world journey. That’s why the Solar Impulse team designed an inflatable mobile hangar to be used on the Solar Impulse’s planned 2015 circumnavigation of the globe. After a storm damaged the hangar that was to host the solar-powered aircraft at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, the team was forced to deploy the structure for the first time to keep the 2013 Across America mission on schedule. Read More
— Outdoors

Blow me down: Windcatcher inflation system amplifies lung power

If you go camping down in the wild woods, the chances of happening upon a conveniently-placed power outlet for blowing up your mattress with an electric air pump are pretty remote. Unless you have a hand or foot pump in your backpack, you'll have to wrap your lips around a tiny valve that likely has a history of being dragged through all sorts of unmentionable nastiness, and then spend the next long while taking deep breaths and blowing. Ryan Frayne's Windcatcher system inflates in just a few seconds with a valve that never touches your mouth. Read More
— Marine

AirRider hovercraft uses hybrid design

Even though hovercraft have been around for over half a century, they still have an air of the future about them. They’re used in everything from sports to oil exploration, yet they still leave a lot to be desired in terms of ride and stability. Hoverworks of Parry Sound, Ontario hopes to improve matters with its AirRider hovercraft, which uses a hybrid hull and skirt design that combines the best of conventional hovercraft technologies. Read More
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