NASA SBIR 2009 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 09-2 X6.02-8148
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Surface System Dust Mitigation
PROPOSAL TITLE: Industrial Scale Production of Celestial Body Simulants

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Zybek Advanced Products, Inc.
2845 29th Street
Boulder, CO 80301 - 1229
(303) 530-2727

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Michael Weinstein
2845 29th Street
Boulder, CO 80301 - 1229
(303) 530-2727

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 6
End: 8

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)

The technical objectives of this program are to develop a cost-effective process to deliver Celestial body simulants for the foreseeable future. Specifically, the technical objectives of this project are:

• Deliver 3 metric tons of a lunar Mare simulant. A portion of the simulant will be bulk, excavation-grade that is compatible to the now depleted JSC-1a. Another portion of the simulant will be a technical grade simulant that has the proper amounts of glass and agglutinates included. Finally, a titanium-rich Mare will be produced. The correct concentrations of titanium are critical for mechanical and chemical process development and testing.
• After the 3 metric tons of Mare simulant; be able to produce bulk simulant at $10,000 per ton. This will be 30% better than the NASA cost target specified in the original solicitation.
• ZAP will deliver 1 metric ton of research grade Highlands type lunar simulant.
• ZAP will deliver a documented process for producing low-cost, bulk mare simulants. After phase 2 project, estimated cost is: $5,000 per ton.
• ZAP will test and demonstrate the applicability of the manufacturing process to produce other Celestial body materials. Examples include: Asteroid, Mars, probe reference samples, and dark glass.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
ZAP has firsthand knowledge of an increasing number of groups trying to purchase simulant from ZAP or requesting that ZAP process their specialty feedstock. Specialty requests are increasing because ZAP has become known in the community but more importantly because researchers and engineers are unable to obtain lunar simulant in quantity or within their schedule or budget. Supplies are depleted. Unfortunately, many requests go unfilled. This proposal will have direct benefit to NASA centers and Directorates as well as to research institutions and private companies. ZAP has provided samples at no charge to four different NASA centers. In addition NASA contractors ranging from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Research (LASP), National Lunar Science Institute to SBIR research contracts have requested lunar simulants in various quantities.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
As detailed in the phase 2 proposal, ZAP has identified 6 significant commercial applications for the technologies used to manufacture lunar simulant components. These include: precious metal recovery from ore (using agglutinate plasma reactor), synthetic mineral production for catalysts, high surface area milling for improved platinum extraction, mineral liberation with AIR mill, improved abrasive materials for optic polishing, and environmentally-friendly glass melting. ZAP is working with industrial customers for all of these applications. In addition to the current active commercial interest, future applications for the process include: Zero valent iron in agglutinate for groundwater remediation, synthetic minerals for research accelerators, nano-scale MoOx for Li-Ion batteries, and thermal metal beneficiation. There is always favorable tax payer sentiment for space technologies that are transferred to practical commercial applications. The extensive media coverage ZAP has recently received for this program is aiding in finding these commercial opportunities.

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.)
Earth-Supplied Resource Utilization
In-situ Resource Utilization
Testing Facilities

Form Generated on 08-06-10 17:29