NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 06-2 X4.03-9564
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lunar Polar Resource Prospecting and Collection
PROPOSAL TITLE: Selective Photo-Initiated Electrophoretic Separator

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Physical Optics Corporation
20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100
Torrance, CA 90501 - 1821
(310) 320-3088

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Kang-Bin Chua
20600 Gramercy Place, Building 100
Torrance, CA 90501 - 1821
(310) 320-3088

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a Selective Photoinitiated Electrophoretic Separator (SPIES) System to address NASA's volatile gas separation and collection needs on the moon and Mars. It will process gas streams generated by upstream lunar in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) processes to produce purified gases such as hydrogen, oxygen, water vapor, and others that support human habitat here. The SPIES system, consisting of a series of compact (<20 cm diameter, 60 cm long, <5 kg) and energy efficient (<30 W) modules, produces highly purified gases of interest at ambient temperatures and pressures, requires no consumables, and eliminates the need for extensive downstream equipment thus, reducing equipment launch size and weight by 33%. In Phase I, POC designed and assembled a proof-of-concept prototype of technology readiness level (TRL) 4 that successfully demonstrated purification of simulated lunar ISRU hydrogen gas streams by gas separation and extraction to reduce hydrogen sulfide contamination to <1 part per million (ppm). In Phase II, POC will optimize the system design to assemble a fully functional TRL 5 SPIES system prototype that will efficiently reduce the hydrogen sulfide concentration to <1 ppm in a realistic gas stream like those generated by NASA's hydrogen reformate process.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial applications of the SPIES system lie in the area of energy-efficient production of industrial gases. This system will enable production of oxygen at a cost that is significantly lower than those of the current energy-intensive processes. Another application is the direct production of hydrogen for fuel cells. This system can be customized to address applications in other areas such as waste management, pollution control, environmental systems, bio-dome research facilities, medical life support tent systems, commercial underwater construction, and natural resource mining.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The SPIES system will find applications in in situ resource utilization (ISRU) to harvest consumables such as hydrogen and oxygen for life support for generating breathing air and potable water, reclaiming iron for in situ fabrication and repair (ISFR), and source materials for radiation shielding and shelter from hostile atmospheres to enable future space commercialization. The SPIES system will find application in efficient high-volume generation of hydrogen, oxygen, and other gases for applications other than ISRU, such as production of gases for use propulsion systems.

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
Earth-Supplied Resource Utilization
In-situ Resource Utilization
Portable Life Support
Renewable Energy
Waste Processing and Reclamation

Form Generated on 08-02-07 14:39