NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Autonomous Medical Care
PROPOSAL TITLE:Microwave Powered Gravitationally Independent Medical Grade Water Generation

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
UMPQUA Research Company
P.O. Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR 97457-0102
(541) 863-2655

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James R. Akse
PO Box 609
Myrtle Creek, OR  97457-0102
(541) 863-2653

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Development of an innovative microwave-based continuous flow sterilization system for the energy efficient gravitationally independent production of Medical Grade Water (MGW) is proposed. During the Phase I, microwaves were very efficiently coupled to a single-phase flowing water stream using an antenna based microwave sterilization chamber that rapidly heated water to temperatures well above normal autoclave conditions. Microbial sterilization was demonstrated for single and mixed cultures of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria including Bacillus stearothermophilus, a thermophilic spore former utilized to validate autoclave sterilization. Novel ultrahigh temperature sterilization processes eliminated chemical sterilization requirements for external connections, and more significantly, inactivated endotoxins, a major MGW purity requirement. These attributes results in an extremely low ESM, MGW generator that will meet autonomous medical care needs for MGW aboard manned spacecraft, or Lunar and planetary habitations. A fully functional computer controlled prototype capable of producing MGW from NASA potable water without expendables will be developed during the Phase II. To achieve these objectives, a compact controllable microwave power generator will be mated to an optimized sterilization chamber producing an energy efficient MGW generator without the need for expendables. Characterization of system performance and ESM will provide the basis for future NASA development decisions.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The NASA application of the advanced microwave based medical grade water system will be as Flight Hardware for deployment in support of future long duration exploration objectives such as a Lunar mission, Lunar base, Mars transit or Mars base. The primary application will be in support of medical and experimental use of pharmacological preparations, which must be reconstituted on-site. Secondarily, this device can be used to produce MGW for use during medical emergencies. It is anticipated that numerous other uses will be found for this system within NASA.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Microwave Sterilization System (MSS) has a strong potential for private sector use. This technology may be employed in small-scale systems for efficient production of MGW in the laboratory or in a range of larger systems that meet various industrial requirements. The MSS may be used to selectively sterilize vulnerable connections to ultra-pure water production facilities or biologically vulnerable systems where microorganisms may intrude. Lightweight and portable MSSs can be rapidly deployed to remote locations, or during humanitarian emergencies, in which the normal infrastructure to provide MGW is disrupted. This application is equally pertinent for use by the military services.

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.

Biomedical and Life Support
Sterilization/Pathogen and Microbial Control

Form Printed on 07-25-06 17:04