NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-2 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 M Gosau
9621 Camino del Sol NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111 - 1522
(505) 346-1685

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
During lunar exploration, regolith is both the major available resource and a substantial obstacle in establishing a long-term presence. The fine surface dust is highly abrasive and can both be a health hazard for the crew and the main contributor to equipment failure. Regolith is also the only material readily available to build protective shelters for the crew to prevent exposure to lethal doses of high-energy particles during solar eruption events. To achieve the needed cover, methods have to be developed to convert regolith into a stable building material with minimal need for terrestrial supplies. The technology should also be applicable to stabilize regolith in place, for example on excavated slopes or around air locks and landing fields where dust is disturbed by gas flows.
In the Phase I program, Adherent Technologies, Inc. has developed the needed chemical formulations and application technologies to achieve both objectives. Regolith can be formed into solid building material using only 5% earth-supplied binder, and the same binder can be used to stabilize loose regolith in the vacuum of space. The proposed Phase II program will optimize the formulations and techniques developed previously and will design and build prototype applicators, both for spraying thin layers and for automated brick fabrication. Testing in a vacuum environment will demonstrate the capabilities and design concepts for deployable, weight optimized application systems will be included.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The technology developed to convert loose regolith dust into building blocks using only 5% earth-supplied resources is an enabling step for long-term lunar habitation projects. Being able to use the abundant regolith to protect the crew from radiation is imperative to reduce the risk of long-term stays. Additionally, dust mitigation is important to prevent premature equipment failure due to the abrasive nature of the regolith.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
While the specific application developed in the Phase I program is a vacuum environment technique unique to space applications, the ability to coat large areas with a thin layer of strong urethane for dust mitigation has attracted great interest from environmental remediation companies. Here, the ability to cover either naturally occurring asbestos or to prevent leaching from industrial wastes like mining tailings or smelter slack piles is of special interest. Another potential application is in the stabilization of dry boreholes in environments where the large quantities of water needed for standard drilling techniques are unavailable, as well as the stabilization of asbestos for removal from contaminated sites.

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
Radiation Shielding Materials

Form Generated on 08-08-08 10:51