NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Oxygen Production from Lunar Regolith
PROPOSAL TITLE:Multi-use Solar Thermal System for Oxygen Production from Lunar Regolith [7227-060]

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Physical Sciences, Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810-1077
(978) 689-0003

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Takashi   Nakamura
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA  01810-1077
(925) 743-1110

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), in collaboration with the Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) and Orbital Technologies Corporation (Orbitec), proposes to develop the multi-use solar thermal system for oxygen production from lunar regolith. In this system solar radiation is collected by the concentrator array which transfers the concentrated solar radiation to the optical waveguide (OW) transmission line made of low loss optical fibers. The OW transmission line directs the solar radiation to the thermal receiver for thermochemical processing of in-situ resources or for manufacturing of materials and components on the planetary surface. Key features of the proposed system are:
1. Highly concentrated solar radiation (10^3 ~ 10^4 suns) can be transmitted via the flexible OW transmission line directly to the thermal receiver for thermochemical or manufacturing;
2. Power scale-up of the system can be achieved by incremental increase of the number of concentrator units;
3. The system can be autonomous, stationary or mobile, and easily transported and deployed on the lunar surface; and
4. The system can be applied to a variety of ISRU processes.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The specific application of the proposed solar power system is for production of oxygen and other useful materials on the lunar surface. The solar thermal system could be set in place prior to the initiation of various lunar projects such as mining, processing or manned outposts. Therefore, the solar thermal system is the key enabling technology for building up the infrastructure for the lunar base. The solar thermal power system to be developed in this program can also be used for electric power conversion using dynamic electric power generator, such as Stirling converter.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Application of the proposed solar power system to other space applications will be possible as its technical maturity progresses. PSI is developing solar thermal rocket system for satellite propulsion under Air Force SBIR funding. The solar thermal rocket system will enable communication satellites to utilize solar power for station keeping and orbit change. For terrestrial applications the proposed system will be used for a small scale, transportable solar heat source for: detoxification of contaminated soil; small power plant using compact heat engine; air conditioning cycle; and industrial process heat.

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 09-08-06 18:19