NASA STTR 2019-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 19-1- T6.06-2448
 Spacecraft Water Sustainability through Nanotechnology
 Side-Emitting Optical Fibers for Delivery of UV-C Light to Disinfect Key Bacteria in Space Station Water and Storage and Conveyance Systems
Name:  H2O Insights, LLC
Name:  Arizona State University-Tempe
Street:  12794 E Sahuaro Drive
Street:  P.O. Box 876011
City:  Scottsdale
City:  Tempe
State/Zip:  AZ 85259-4331
State/Zip:  AZ 85287-6011
PHONE:  (480) 209-9140
PHONE:  (480) 965-1427

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Paul Westerhoff
Arizona State University BOX3005 Arizona, AZ 85287 - 3005
(480) 965-2885

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)

Kelly Westerhoff
12794 E Sahuaro Drive Scottsdale, AZ 85259 - 4331
(480) 209-9140
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 2
End: 4
Technical Abstract (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)


Bacteria and biofilms pose health and operational challenges in human support systems. Germicidal UV-C disinfection using mercury-based lamps is a widely used technology that has numerous safety and reactor configuration disadvantages. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are mercury-free alternative and other advantages are making them competitive and a lower cost alternative for disinfection (e.g. lack of warm up time, tunable radiation, long life of use).  However, a crucial technology barrier of LED disinfection is the small surface area that emits irradiation, which necessitates arrays of many LEDs within even the smallest reactor, and thus has been a major limitation to their adoption. We propose a means of increasing the irradiation area of LEDs by >100x through the development of side-emitting optical fibers (SEOF), essentially creating UV-C germicidal flexible glowsticks which can be bundled together with tens of optical fibers delivering light from a single LED. Currently only visible light SEOFs are commercially available. To overcome this wavelength dependent barrier, we recently discovered a nanotechnology-based solution to achieve side-emission from optical fibers in the UV-C range. This is achieved by coating an optical fiber in a new and novel way using shape-, size-, and surface chemistry modified silica nanoparticles that create light-scattering centers on the surface of the fiber.  The coated fiber is then overlaid with a UV-C transparent polymer that protects the fiber and prevents nanoparticle release into water and allows germicidal light to enter the water. This STTR proposal outlines a detailed work plan to develop this nanotechnology solution from the proof-of-concept phase to pre-design phase.

Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Disinfection of tanks and piping systems to mitigate biofilm growth and support system dormancy using only UV-C light

Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)

Disinfection applications (using only UV-C light, no chemicals) for large or irregular shaped commercial or industrial or spaces, water, food, air filters, medical applications, and consumer products

Duration: 12

Form Generated on 06/16/2019 23:00:22