NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:In-Situ Resource Utilization & Space Manufacturing
PROPOSAL TITLE:Lunar Materials Handling System

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Pioneer Astronautics
11111 W. 8th Ave., Unit A
Lakewood, CO 80215-5516
(303) 980-0890

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mark   Berggren
11111 W. 8th Ave; Unit A
Lakewood, CO  80215-5516
(303) 989-0231

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The Lunar Materials Handling System (LMHS) is a method for transfer of lunar soil into and out of process equipment in support of in situ resource utilization (ISRU). The LMHS conveys solids to the ISRU vessel, provides a gas-tight seal, and minimizes wear related to abrasive particles. Lunar ISRU scenarios require that equipment be operated over many cycles with minimal consumption of expendables and with minimal leakage in order to maintain high overall process leverage.

The LMHS increases equipment life and minimizes process losses, thereby increasing overall leverage and reducing uncertainties in ISRU process evaluation. The LMHS is based on a seal arrangement by which lunar regolith can be introduced into and removed from reaction chambers operating under a wide range of batch operating conditions.

Most lunar ISRU processes will use regolith as feed. Hydrogen reduction is a prime candidate for nearer-term lunar ISRU implementation. The LMHS was integrated with hydrogen reduction and operated in vacuum during Phase I. The LMHS-hydrogen reduction unit demonstrated feeding, sealing, water recovery for oxygen production, and discharging of residue in realistic operating conditions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary application of the LMHS is to support long duration lunar ISRU. The Phase I integrated LMHS-hydrogen reduction demonstration represents a step toward prototype demonstration in advance of flight testing. The LMHS can be a key component of the lunar exploration program by enabling production of oxygen ? a key propellant constituent.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The concepts developed during the LMHS program have terrestrial applicability in the areas of abrasive materials handling, hazardous or radioactive materials handling, remote process operations, and high-valve materials handling.

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.

In-situ Resource Utilization

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04