NASA SBIR 01-II Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: B2.01-8334 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013665 )
PROPOSAL TITLE: Circulating , Aeration and Nutrient Delivery System (CANDS)

The purpose of the Phase II SBIR is to develop, build and test methods and procedures to control water, oxygen, and temperature in the root zone of a particulate based microgravity nutrient delivery system using nubs, tubes or plates. Phase I demonstrated new concepts for nutrient flow and control interval to each root module. Phase II will fully characterize a root module system capable of controlling oxygen and CO2 concentrations, and temperature of the root zone. Particulate based nutrient delivery systems have been commonly used in current space based plant growth systems and have been demonstrated to maintain healthy plants in microgravity, but have not controlled oxygen. The primary effort of this proposed project will be oriented toward building a system that can effectively control water and oxygen distribution in a root zone through manipulation of liquid source, flow, and aeration. This system will focus on aeration maintenance with and without root mass, measure and compare the impact of different water delivery sources and flows protocols, combined with various mechanisms of aeration, on the root zone environment. This research will allow the development of a root zone nutrient delivery system that will support plants in microgravity, without limiting oxygen.

Commercial applications within NASA could include developing technology to control root zone environment through physical and operational techniques for the regulation of water distribution and control of the gaseous environment, on the ground and in microgravity. This project would allow uniformity of water and oxygen, limiting possible anoxic conditions, as well as, reducing carbon dioxide within the root zone.

Terrestrial commercial application of this technology would include root modules that would be used to control oxygen levels, allowing more precise control of the root zone environment for commercial chambers, specific nursery support systems, and the growing market of plant biotechnology growth and maintenance. Universities and commercial agriculture research companies would be another major user of these root modules. There may also be use among hobbyists involved in gardening and horticulture. One large opportunity is a revolution in closed system agriculture on Earth that is integral with ORBITEC?s spin off commercial applications.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Jay J. Maas
Orbital Technologies Corporation
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison , WI   53717 - 1961

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Orbital Technologies Corporation
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison , WI   53717 - 1961

Form Printed on 05-09-02 16:37