NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X5.03-9413
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Extravehicular Activity (EVA)
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel Liquid Membranes for CO2 and H20 Control in EVA Applications

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Reaction Systems, LLC
1814 19th Street
Golden, CO 80401 - 1710
(303) 216-2950

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David Wickham
1814 19th Street
Golden, CO 80401 - 1710
(720) 352-7161

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The development of new, robust, lightweight systems for CO2 removal during EVA is a crucial need for NASA. With current activity focused on the development of Lunar outposts, mission times will need to be extended without increasing the size and weight of the portable life support system (PLSS). While much of the recent work on the development of new CO2 control strategies has centered on sorbents that can be regenerated during the mission, these system add "on back" hardware, increasing weight and complexity, and reducing reliability.

A simpler approach is to use a membrane system to separate CO2 and H2O from the O2 environment. Unfortunately, separating gas phase molecules with the needed selectivity is difficult with standard membrane materials. However, converting CO2 and H2O to compounds with much different properties, could allow the needed separation to be achieved. Therefore in this Phase I project, Reaction Systems will develop a liquid membrane that will have high permeance and selectivity for CO2 and H2O compared to O2, resulting in a TRL = 4. In Phase II we will advance the TRL to 6 by designing and constructing a full scale prototype, which will be delivered it to NASA.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The most immediate application of the technology being proposed herein is the control of CO2 and H2O levels in the space suits of astronauts during EVA. This is a critical need as NASA mission objectives include creating lunar outposts, with the eventual goal of exploring Mars. In addition, with only slight modification, the technology could be applied to CO2 control in spacecraft and on the surface of Mars.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
In addition to the wide spread use for NASA applications, identifying effective means to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion is an area that is receiving much attention. The wide spread use of fossil fuels has caused a substantial rise in the concentration of atmospheric CO2, a recognized green house gas and further increases in atmospheric CO2 are not desirable. Thus, there currently is a great deal of interest in the development of methods to sequester CO2 from combustion processes. Other commercial applications would include the control of CO2 in underwater vehicles and other enclosed spaces and the development of rebreathers for SCUBA gear.

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.

Manned-Maneuvering Units
Portable Life Support

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56