NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 X2.02-9461
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Spacecraft Habitation Systems, Water Recovery and Waste Management
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Efficiency, High Output Plastic Melt Waste Compactor (HEHO-PMWC)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orbital Technologies Corporation
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717 - 1961
(608) 827-5000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeff Johnson
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717 - 1961
(608) 229-2828

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The innovative High Efficiency, High Output Plastic Melt Waste Compactor (HEHO-PMWC) is a trash dewatering and volume reduction system that uses heat melt compaction to remove nearly 100% of water from trash and reduce the volume by up to 11 times. The HEHO-PMWC system incorporates novel methods to compress the trash, recover water, and remove the resultant plastic tiles. This system requires access to power, data, and cooling interfaces. The system is suitable for recovering water and compacting all trash sources on the ISS. The system has also been designed to recover water from brine solutions produced by primary wastewater processing systems.
The HEHO-PMWC works by heating and compressing trash simultaneously to first remove water and then to melt plastic in the trash. The melted plastic encapsulates the trash into a 16 inch square tile, approximately ½ inch thick. The square tile is easier to store than a round tile and is a more effective radiation shield.
Variables such as transport vehicle availability, ISS mass, power and space availability, and ISS cooling capabilities were considered. The resulting HEHO-PWMC system, proposed here, was sized to process 3-4 kg of trash per batch while operating three times per day.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The primary NASA application of this technology is for any long-duration human spaceflight mission, including microgravity and planetary surface operations. Besides the primary benefits of the HEHO-PMWC, which include waste volume reduction and water recovery, secondary benefits include additional health benefits from completely encapsulating the final compacted waste product, ultimately deterring microbial elements from entering the breathable airstream, and the plastic tile byproduct, which is high in polyethylene, can be used as an effective radiation barrier. The conceptual design for the Phase II was designed for implementation on the ISS, but the design can be easily modified for various waste model loads and mission architectures.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The HEHO-PWMC will be a valuable system for commercial space vehicles and modules. A system that reduces waste volume, recovers water, and creates a useful byproduct can be a boon for commercial aerospace companies trying to reduce overall mission costs.
The benefits of HEHO-PMWC are immediately known for LEO destination providers such as Bigelow Aerospace. With inflatables, no inherent radiation shielding is present on the outside diameter of the module; so radiation shielding (i.e., water) must be added post-inflation. The HEHO-PMWC would reduce the amount of water that must be launched by producing radiation tiles from trash. The PMWC could produce enough tiles to shield the entire module in less than a year. The recovered water could also function as a radiation barrier. The HEHO-PMWC would provide an effective and efficient waste management system, provide necessary radiation shielding products, assist in maintaining a clean environment, and minimize launch costs.

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.)
In-situ Resource Utilization
Radiation Shielding Materials
Waste Processing and Reclamation

Form Generated on 08-06-10 17:29