NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Spacecraft Cabin Atmospheric Management and Habitation Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Plasma Air Decontamination System (PADS)

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Orbital Technologies Corporation
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI 53717-1961
(608) 827-5000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Yonghui   Ma
1212 Fourier Drive
Madison, WI  53717-1961
(608) 229-2805

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposed Plasma Air Decontamination System (PADS) is a trace contaminant control device based on non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma technology that operates at ambient pressure and temperature and has the potential to replace the existing Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) used on the International Space Station and future exploration vehicles. Non-thermal atmospheric plasma has been proven successful in the destruction of a variety of organic carbons found in space craft environments. The prototype plasma reactor on which the PADS will be based has also shown successful destruction of organic carbon with good power efficiency. Incorporation of this technology would facilitate a decrease in size or total elimination of the intensive re-supply of activated carbon for adsorbent beds, and possible elimination of the high temperature catalytic reactor. This would result in significant savings in launch mass and cost for long duration missions and a reduction in power requirements with the elimination of the catalytic reactor. This system also has great potential to be scaled to a variety of applications, allowing realization of the benefits that come with having systems common to multiple life support systems such as lower mass logistics and spares.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The PADS technology will likely produce a higher quality of trace contaminant control in a space craft or habitat than is provided by the current technology, and will eliminate many of the disadvantages including the significant re-supply mass of the disposable adsorbent beds, and the risk of large adsorbent beds releasing adsorbed pollutants. It also does not require a vacuum source as do regenerable adsorbent solutions, giving significant advantages for use in planetary surface base applications. The system is also suitable for use both on spacecraft and on surface habitats where a ready source of vacuum does not exist. The ability to scale the system allows it to be reduced in size for use in a small volume such as the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM), Lunar Outpost (LO), or Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). Multiple applications will allow for commonality of components and reduced crew training for maintenance and operation.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
This technology has broad possibilities for air purification in commercial systems. Portable, plasma-based, air purifiers are a relatively new entrant to the home health market. This opens the possibility for ORBITEC to license the advanced plasma technology created from this SBIR application to major manufacturers. Targeted markets such as office buildings, airplanes, buses, and trains, where large numbers of people are grouped together could benefit from a compact system that would both decompose pollutants and neutralize biological contamination introduced by others. This system would be readily integrated into existing ventilation infrastructure in these applications. Larger scale applications may include accommodation of large air flows from industrial processes where quantities of VOCs or other pollutants are required to be removed or altered prior to release into the atmosphere. This same larger system also has applications in homeland security, protecting military personnel from certain chemical attacks, or remediation of polluted ecosystems.

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.

Air Revitalization and Conditioning
Biomedical and Life Support
Sterilization/Pathogen and Microbial Control

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19