NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 X1.03-7991
SUBTOPIC TITLE: In-Situ Resource Processing and Refining
PROPOSAL TITLE: Collection and Purification of Lunar Propellant Resources

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS, INC.
5445 Conestoga Court, #2A
Boulder, CO 80301-2724
(303)443-2262

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steve Nieczkoski
snieczk@techapps.com
5445 Conestoga Court, #2A
Boulder, CO 80301-2724
(303)443-2262

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Technology Applications, Inc. (TAI) proposes to advance In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) capabilities by applying advanced cryogenic technology to perform collection and purification of volatile propellant materials extracted from moderate to high vacuum environments such as those found on the Martian and lunar surfaces. In this Phase I program, TAI will perform design and analysis of critical ISRU subsystems and develop innovations in thermal management to demonstrate the feasibility of effective volatile collection, separation, purification, liquefaction, and long-term storage capabilities for cryogenic fluids. Production of propellant from the lunar surface is a technically feasible approach to avoid the cost prohibitive task of launching sufficient amounts of propellant from earth to establish continual human habitation on the moon. When regolith resources are extracted and refined, there exists the potential for sustainable long-term human habitation on the moon and Mars. Thermal system design for an ISRU system will determine the propellant generation power requirements for complete human habitat system specifications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The cryogenic cooling technology has application to long lifetime and reliable cooling systems that are essential to many applications ranging from spaceborne multi-spectral imaging and detector systems to bulk cryogen storage systems. The ISRU concentration, refining, and storage technology is relevant to all future manned planetary exploration missions where indigenous resources must be utilized to support human habitation and return to planet Earth.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Distributed cryogenic cooling systems are needed for advanced communication systems to cool both high-temperature and low-temperature superconducting electronic elements. The combination of a cryogenic cooling and membrane separation systems would have particular application in the production and storage of liquid natural gas processing on earth. Such technology would economically enable a hydrogen infrastructure from renewable energy sources.