NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Advanced Life Support: Air and Thermal
PROPOSAL TITLE:Solid Oxide Electrolysis for Oxygen Production in an ARS

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paragon Space Development Corp.
3481 E. Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ 85714-2221
(520) 903-1000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Christine S Iacomini
3481 E. Michigan Street
Tucson, AZ  85714-2221
(520) 903-1000

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Oxygen regenerated from a crew's expired CO2 and H2O vapor is essential to enabling a continuous human presence on the moon at significantly reduced costs and risks. Any such technology demonstrated on the moon will then be ready to support the transport of humans to Mars and their eventual surface exploration efforts. Paragon Space Development Corporation is proposing an innovative, efficient and practical concept that utilizes Solid Oxide Electrolysis (SOE) for the next generation electrolysis/Sabatier subsystem to enable 100% oxygen regenerative air revitalization systems (ARS).

The concept is innovative because it safely eliminates handling of hydrogen, works irrespective of gravity and pressure environments with no moving parts and no multi-phase flows, and requires no expendables while being compact with minimal impact on mass. This innovation is directly relevant and essential to our current mandate set by the President to return humans to the moon and in doing so develop technologies that will enable our exploration of Mars.

The significance of the proposed Phase 2 SOE development effort is that it offers the very real possibility that life support systems could close the oxygen loop such that oxygen supporting consumables required to produce oxygen need not continually be delivered from Earth.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
SOE technology can use lunar or Martian resources to produce oxygen for propellant or life support consumables (needed in the event of leaks or airlock losses). SOE to produce oxygen from the Martian CO2 atmosphere is an obvious and easily employed technology choice. Subsequently, SOE can be miniaturized for Martian Portable Life Support Systems where an astronaut can "breathe" the CO2 atmosphere through the SOE device. On the moon, SOE can be used to extract oxygen from conveniently either CO2 or H2O, byproducts of different lunar regolith reduction processes. Thus, SOE development will have a large impact on NASA's missions.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Stand-alone SOE oxygen regeneration systems, like those proposed for an extraterrestrial base, could be placed in underwater research facilities, submarines, high altitude flying crafts or emergency bunkers in the event of terrorist attacks. Hazardous material handlers, rescue personnel or other professionals performing in extreme environments (i.e., EPA, DOD, Homeland Security, Mine Safety and Health Administration) would benefit greatly from a self-contained oxygen supply system that requires no supply of consumables. Finally, because SOE technology can dual as a fuel cell, spin-offs of the technology include power systems for regions or as relief systems during high energy-use periods of the day.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Air Revitalization and Conditioning
Biomedical and Life Support
In-situ Resource Utilization
Portable Life Support

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04