NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 X1.03-8966
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In-Situ Resource Processing and Refining
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Efficiency Solar Furnace Core

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Thoughtventions Unlimited
40 Nutmeg Lane
Glastonbury, CT 06033-2314
(860)657-9014

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stephen C Bates
thought@tvu.com
40 Nutmeg Lane
Glastonbury, CT 06033-2314
(860)657-9014

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
It is proposed to develop a high efficiency solar furnace core that greatly lessens the heat losses from the furnace core, either greatly reducing the amount of solar radiation needed to reach a specified temperature, or greatly increasing the temperature it can achieve. Specific program goals include: 1) Specification of the techniques to be used for generating the appropriate vacuum in the furnace and the vacuum level that must be achieved to provide insulation from gas convection. 2) Improved heat and solar radiation shields, 3) Improved crucible technology, and 4) Very high temperature furnace technology (2500oC). Thanks to extensive furnace technology development work at TvU, the relevant technologies can be demonstrated within the limited resources of a Phase 1 program, allowing concentration on overall solar furnace designs. TvU will deliver a small prototype solar furnace to NASA at the end of Phase 2, together with a variety of furnace technologies, depending on NASA's present and future needs. Improved solar furnaces will lead to significant new extra-terrestrial materials processing capabilities.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Improved solar furnace will enable broad capabilities for materials processing in Space, on the Moon and on Mars. Other potential NASA applications include improved heat containment for all types of furnaces and lower power furnaces for use in the power-limited environment of extraterrestrial materials processing.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Commercial products that will result from this program include improved solar furnaces, low power furnaces, improved heat radiation shielding, and high temperature furnaces that require much less power.