The deployable crew quarters (DCQ) have been designed for the International Space Station (ISS). Each DCQ would be a relatively inexpensive, deployable box-like structure that is designed to fit in a rack bay. It is to be occupied by one crewmember to provide privacy and sleeping functions for the crew. A DCQ comprises mostly hard panels, made of a lightweight honeycomb or matrix/fiber material, attached to each other by cloth hinges. Both faces of each panel are covered with a layer of Nomex cloth and noise-suppression material to provide noise isolation from ISS.

On Earth, the unit is folded flat and attached to a rigid pallet for transport to the ISS. On the ISS, crewmembers unfold the unit and install it in place, attaching it to ISS structural members by use of soft cords (which also help to isolate noise and vibration). A few hard pieces of equipment (principally, a ventilator and a smoke detector) are shipped separately and installed in the DCQ unit by use of a system of holes, slots, and quarter-turn fasteners.

Full-scale tests showed that the time required to install a DCQ unit amounts to tens of minutes. The basic DCQ design could be adapted to terrestrial applications to satisfy requirements for rapid deployable emergency shelters that would be lightweight, portable, and quickly erected. The Temporary Early Sleep Station (TeSS) currently on-orbit is a spin-off of the DCQ.

This work was done by William C. Schneider, Kriss J. Kennedy, and Nathan R. Moore of Johnson Space Center and James Mabie of Muniz Engineering.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

MEI Technologies, Corporate Headquarters
2525 Bay Area Blvd., Suite 300
Houston, Texas 77058
Phone No.: (281) 283-6200 / (888) 895-3014
Fax No.: (281) 283-6170
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Refer to MSC-23132-1, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.