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RDSS- Rapid Deployment Shelter System

Y-12 National Security Complex

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PDF Document PublicationRDSS Fact Sheet (559 KB)

The RDSS is an expandable, mobile, hard-wall shelter which, by the push of a button, can more than double in square footage in less than 2 minutes.
The RDSS is an expandable, mobile, hard-wall shelter which, by the push of a button, can more than double in square footage in less than 2 minutes.

Technology Marketing Summary

The Rapid Deployment Shelter System (RDSS), previousl named the Future Medical Shelter System, was originally designed for the military as a portable surgical shelter. In the role of a surgical shelter, the RDSS is designed to provide a completely sterile environment; to be fully equipped for emergency surgeries typical of injuries sustained in military operations; and to be fully protected from nuclear, biological, and chemical threats. The RDSS in its folded position is a standard ISO (International Standards Organization) container that can be stacked nine high and can be transported easily with standard means. In the extended position, the RDSS has a approximate floor area of 400 sq. ft. As a medical shelter, RDSS is a hard-walled, highly mobile, fully furnished, two-table operating room. It can be set up virtually anywhere in a matter of minutes with the push of a button and be ready to perform trauma surgery.


Designed for fast deployment, easy of assembly, minimum need of human support, and ease of transportation with standard means. Can be fabricated in various sizes. RDSS as a 20-ft. ISO container can be extended from 160 sq. ft. to 400 sq. ft. faster than any 20-ft. hard-walled shelter in the world and about 40 times faster than the Arm's current DEPMED shelter. Can be extended and/or retracted using a 24 VDC battery (Army's ubiquitous HUMVEE vehicle has a 24 VDC battery) by one person pushing a button for 1 minute and 37 seconds. Has been designed to be rigid enough to not require jacks on the extension wings after extension. This feature allows the RDSS to be extended quickly and from any location, such as the back of a flatbed truck. Is a true NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protected shelter. Because of the RDSS design, the interior is always sealed. The walls and floors are always attached and sealed, even during extension and retraction. Provisions for optimal small fire arm protection have been considered in the RDSS design, and bullet-resistant materials can be incorporated in all paneling.


Deploys in less than 2 minutes in any environment or platform using a 24 VDC batter. Multipurpose design.

Applications and Industries

Command and control center; logistics center; operations center; temporary housing; office; classroom; supply storage; temporary portable medical shelter; quarantine or isolation building; temporary morgue; decontamination building; portable laboratory for conducting scientific research in remote locations, disaster response sites or where waste remediation operations are ongoing; portable manufacturing facility or shop for remote repairs at a military base or other remote sites; portable power station using a conventional power generator in the box and solar collectors on the surfaces that are exposed following deployment (this arrangement would protect the solar collectors during shipment).

More Information

2007 R&D 100 Award.

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,117,645
Rapid deployment shelter system
A shelter for the protection of for the protection of persons, animals, equipment, materials, property, and similar things of value from potentially damaging environmental conditions is disclosed. Various embodiments include the use of a frame structure and hinged panels which are unfolded to create the walls of the structure. Optionally flexible surfaces may be added to the ends of the shelter to at least partially close the end of the shelter.
Y-12 National Security Complex 10/10/2006
Technology Status
Development StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

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