NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 X2.01-9873
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Cabin Atmosphere Revitalization and Particulate Management
PROPOSAL TITLE: Development of a Cathode Liquid Feed Electrolyzer to Generate 3,600 psi Oxygen for Both Lunar and Space Microgravity Environments

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC
89 Rumford Avenue
Newton, MA 02466 - 1311
(781) 529-0504

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Timothy J. Norman
89 Rumford Avenue
Newton, MA 02466 - 1311
(781) 529-0556

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Giner Electrochemical Systems (GES) proposes to develop a cathode liquid feed, proton-exchange membrane electrolyzer stack and system capable of producing 3,600 psi oxygen. We propose to subcontract Hamilton-Sundstrand Human Space Systems (H-S) to share unique state-of-the-art technologies that provide the best path to meeting program objectives. GES will share their data and expertise with high balanced pressure electrolyzers and H-S will contribute their data and expertise in high differential pressure electrolyzer systems. Based on the high pressure anode design concept developed in Phase I, GES will further develop the electrolyzer cell and stack design. In parallel, H-S will develop the key subsystem and control components for a brassboard balance of plant. The program will culminate in the fabrication, assembly, and demonstration of a brassboard high oxygen pressure generation system.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA is charged with returning humans to the moon in a permanently occupied lunar station. This mission will require astronauts to conduct extravehicular activities while en route to the moon, and while on the lunar surface. To operate in these environments, the astronauts need an on-site source of pressurized oxygen to refill empty tanks. A very-high-pressure PEM water electrolyzer is proposed that can produce a minimum of 3,600 psi oxygen and hydrogen without the need for high-pressure pumps and/or compressors. A very-high-pressure water electrolyzer will permit smaller launch volumes, saving space aboard the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The electrolyzer might also be useful for the production of hydrogen and oxygen for space vehicle propulsion, enabling missions to Mars. Other electrolyzers of similar designs may be used to produce oxygen and hydrogen for energy storage purposes in regenerative fuel cells on the lunar and Martian surfaces. Other electrolyzers may be used for generation of oxygen on the lunar surface without a net consumption of water through in situ resource utilization (ISRU). By making all of these electrolyzers compatible with one another, if not identical, it may be possible for NASA to save significant development resources while improving astronaut life support safety margins by increasing redundancy.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Quiet and compact oxygen generators may be useful for Navy SEAL missions. Such electrolyzers as closed-loop regenerative fuel cells are potential battery substitutes for applications that require high energy density. Several agencies of the U.S. Government and several private businesses are engaged in development of long-endurance aircraft and airships. The high-pressure electrolyzer developed under this proposed program may be applicable to these vehicles. Large-scale power storage via regenerative fuel cells may have terrestrial applications in telecommunications and other industries that require uninterruptible power supplies.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Energy Storage
In-situ Resource Utilization
Portable Life Support

Form Generated on 08-06-10 17:29