NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X5.02-8801
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Lunar Regolith Excavation and Material Handling
PROPOSAL TITLE: Lunar Regolith Stabilization for Excavation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Adherent Technologies, Inc.
9621 Camino del Sol NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111 - 1522
(505) 346-1685

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jan-Michael Gosau
9621 Camino del Sol NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111 - 1522
(505) 346-1685

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Establishing human presence outside the protective cover of earth's atmosphere is a challenge. On earth, the atmosphere does not only present breathing gas, it also acts as a thermal buffer and protects the biosphere from harmful radiation. Shielding of humans from harmful radiation during long-term stays on an extraterrestrial body like the moon is a difficult task. Lunar regolith provides an excellent source of readily available insulation and shielding material. About 2 m of packed regolith would provide an excellent cover for a permanent installation.. In order to either bury shelters or to surround habitats with berms of protective material, it is necessary to excavate regolith on a large scale, a difficult undertaking due to the dustlike consistency of the material. To stabilize the regolith, it is necessary to either consolidate the surface material of the slopes or to convert the regolith into a solid building material. Adherent Technologies, Inc. has developed several specialty resins for material stabilization. This includes penetrating urethane foam for asbestos remediation and epoxy resins for borehole casings in dry-drilling applications. ATI now proposes to develop a stabilization system for lunar surface dusts using a polyurethane foam binder.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Being able to shape the environment during the establishment of a permanent outpost on the moon is a mission-critical task. As such, the proposed technology enables the long term occupation of lunar surface bases without the use of cost-prohibitive terrestrial resource use. The concept is based on established technology and offers a solid, low risk approach to the use of extraterrestrial resources.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology for the fabrication of habitat structures from locally available materials using a polymer binder can be extended to terrestrial use in environments where normal building means are not readily available and the delivery of standard components like cement, and of course water, is cost prohibitive. This includes desert environments, mountainous regions, or the Antarctic. Since the environment on earth is usually much less severe than the environment described in the project, the binder material could be optimized for performance instead of application. This includes strength, for example as a protective material in military applications where sandbags are used today or heat retention in mountainous or arctic regions.

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
Thermal Insulating Materials

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50